Ben Booth, spokesman for Iowa One Call, says calling 811 can help keep you safe and besides, it’s the law to call first. Booth says, “The reason you do that is so that when you’re digging or doing any kind of excavating, you don’t come in contact with something underground, something you don’t want to hit like a natural gas pipeline or a service line, or a broadband or fiber optics cable or even a high voltage cable.” Failure to comply with the law may mean you’ll face expensive fines and civil penalties if you cause a disruption in service.
More importantly, if you don’t call 811 in advance, you could be badly hurt in an incident that also places the public, property and environment in harm’s way. “You don’t want to dig into a natural gas line or an electric line, you don’t want to contaminate your city’s water systems,” Booth says. “Here’s the deal, it’s all free. It’s a free notification, a free call or you can go online and do a ticket for free, and the service itself, the actual locating and marking of underground facilities is also free.” Most people don’t dash off and buy trees to plant on a whim and Booth says you do need to plan ahead.
“You must make the notification at least 48 hours in advance of digging and that excludes Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays,” Booth says. “If you’re going to do work on the weekend, make sure you call early in the week, your yard will be marked, you’ll know where to avoid and everything’s good.” Learn more at: www.iowaonecall.com