Can You Dig It? Yes … But Call First

Can You Dig It? Yes … But Call First

With spring right around the corner, thoughts turn to out-door projects. The ground hasn’t quite thawed yet, but soon, you might think about planting shrubs or tackling even bigger projects. Before pick-ing up that shovel, call 811 first. It’s the law … and your safety depends upon it.

Underground utility lines are everywhere — some mere inches beneath the surface. According to the Common Ground Alliance, a utility line is damaged by digging every six minutes. This can lead to serious consequences ranging from gas leaks and neighborhood blackouts to injury or death. As a homeowner, you can be held liable.

Before digging, you are required to call 811 — the national hotline for accessing local utility location services — or visit the South Dakota 811 center’s website at Don’t wait until the last minute; contact 811 at least two business days prior to excavating. You’ll be asked about the type of work you’re planning, as well as your address. The 811 service will then notify your local utility companies, who will locate their underground lines and mark them with flags or paint. You must confirm that all utility companies have responded to the request after two business days or you have been given the “all clear.” At that point, feel free to “dig” in!


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