Residents reminded to check before digging

RBC | The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) reminds all Colorado residents to always contact 811 at least three business days before any digging project.
Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a proclamation designating April 2017 as Dig Safely Month in Colorado, and a number of events are planned around the state to promote public safety and raise awareness for the damage prevention industry.
By dialing 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Colorado 811, the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both.
Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. Striking a single utility 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 after contacting 811.
“As the spring landscaping and construction season moves into full swing, this campaign is a way to remind homeowners and contractors that state law requires them to call 811 before starting any excavation or digging project,” said Joe Molloy, chief of the PUC’s Gas Pipeline Safety section.
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Colorado 811 encourages all residents to visit www.co811.org for more information about digging safely.