Today is 8-1-1 awareness day to remind you to call that phone number if you plan on any digging on your property. Iowa Utilities Board spokesman Don Tormey says the observance happens now because it’s — August 11th — or 8-1-1.

“The law requires at any resident or professional excavator contact the 8-1-1 toll-free number or you can file through the Iowa one call website eight locate ticket a minimum of two business days in advance of digging,” Tormey says.

Any type of digging requires a call. It doesn’t have to be a major project with excavators. “So this could be, you’re planting a tree, you’re putting in a basketball hoop, you’re doing a mailbox. People may not think they have to contact that number because they don’t think they were they’re going to hit an underground utility line, but these things happen all the time,” Tormey says, “so it’s very important that we educate all Iowans every year and remind them of this free service to them.”

Tormey says there are all types of lines buried across the state, from sewer lines to fiber optic lines that each pose problems if they are cut. He says calling will prevent serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs that could occur. Not only do you face potential danger from hitting something underground, but you can also face fines for not calling before digging. Get more information at

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)