Seth Hale is spokesman for Iowa One Call. “We’ll be doing our promotional day to remind folks across the state of Iowa to call at least 48 hours before they dig,” Hale says. “That includes any project, planting a tree, putting in a new mailbox, installing a fence, and also the big projects that professional excavators are doing.”
The goal of Iowa One Call, he says, is damage prevention.”There’s tens of thousands of miles of pipelines for gas and electric and communications and internet and water,” Hale says. “By not calling, you put yourself at risk of not knowing exactly where those utilities may be.” By calling that single phone number of 8-1-1 at least 48 hours before digging, that gives all of the utilities time to mark your yard, either with spray paint or colored flags, exactly where their lines are buried.
“Striking those utilities can put you at a safety risk,” Hale says. “Beyond that, your community and neighborhood may be at risk to lose service, to lose power, to not have natural gas, to not have water going to their homes and businesses. Making that call is vitally important not only for the people doing the work but for everybody else around.”
About 500,000 calls were made to Iowa One Call last year, resulting in about 2.5-half million “locate requests” from utilities.
(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)