This April is the 10th annual National Safe Digging Month. Southern Star reminds all of our neighbors to always call 811 two (2) business days before any digging project. Digging projects include things like digging a foundation, planting a bush or tree, or tilling a field.
Homeowners and contractors should always call 811 about their intent to dig. The local one call center then notifies the appropriate utilities who send professional locators to the identified digging site. They will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both so you know where to avoid digging.
Why take time to call? Because you avoid risk of injury. An underground utility line is damaged every nine minutes because someone decided to dig without calling 811. If you don’t call 811, you may have to call 911.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811.
“April marks the start of digging season, and we strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Jimmy Staton, President & Chief Executive Officer of Southern Star. “Homeowners, landowners, developers, farmers, contractors and other professionals make an important decision to help keep them and their communities safe and connected to utilities when they call 811 to have underground utility lines in their area marked.”
Southern Star responded to over 36,000 one-call notifications just in 2017 across the seven states in which we operate: Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wyoming, Nebraska, Colorado and Texas. Our operators answer the call by driving to digging locations of all types, reviewing maps and/or marking the pipeline present at the identified site.
The depth of utility lines can vary due to erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked every time because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS CALL 811 A FEW DAYS BEFORE DIGGING!