Much of Iowa is frozen and snow-covered, but soon enough, spring will be here and homeowners will leap into landscaping and farmers will dig into the soil. Ben Booth, at Iowa One Call, says if you plan to do any digging, it’s the law to call 811 at least 48 hours before digging and have all potential obstacles underground marked off.
Booth says they’re holding special damage prevention seminars this month for contractors and excavators. Booth says, “This program focuses on the farming community, specifically farmers and tiling excavators and land improvement contractors, people who will be doing the terracing and installation of drainage tile.” If a pipeline, communications line or other vital service is ruptured by your negligence, you may be found financially liable for repairs and any repercussions.
There have been several incidents in recent years in rural Iowa involving ag contractors digging where they shouldn’t be digging. Booth says, “We have a lot of problems throughout the year with these types of farming and agricultural operations impacting the pipelines as well as fiber infrastructure, fiber optic cables.”
Anyone who fails to call Iowa One Call and ruptures an underground line could face fines ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 per day. There were pipeline explosions in Jackson and Plymouth counties in the past few years. Booth says both incidents happened because the contractors failed to call Iowa One Call. “There can be some really serious ramifications of hitting an underground high-pressure natural gas pipeline or a hazardous liquids pipeline,” Booth says.
The next seminar on damage prevention is planned for next week. It will be held at 6:30 P.M. Tuesday at the Senior Center in Glenwood. Learn more at: www.iowaonecall.com
(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)