KUA Reminds Residents to Dig Safely

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KISSIMMEE, Fla., March 26, 8:30 am — Now that Spring has arrived, many residents will soon get the urge to go outside and plant flowers, trees and new gardens. Whether digging trenches for water systems or planting gardens, you should always be mindful of underground utilities. Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) is urging contractors, builders and homeowners to “Call Before You Dig!” Anyone planning an excavation project should contact “Call Sunshine” at 1-800-432-4770 to obtain important information on what is beneath the ground at the excavation site.
Electric, gas, water, sewer, fiber optic telephone and other utility lines lie beneath most city streets and branch off to serve homes and businesses. Digging into one of these lines may cause injuries and disrupt vital utility services to thousands of customers. Florida law requires a notification of underground excavation at least two working days before digging.
“Each year in Florida, lives are endangered, money and time are wasted and property is destroyed because people fail to have underground facilities located before engaging in excavation or demolition,” said Ken Davis, KUA’s Vice President of Engineering & Operations. “Florida Governor Jeb Bush recognizes the importance of this issue and has proclaimed March 30-April 6 as ‘Dig Safely Week.'”
Call Sunshine is a free notification service for anyone who is planning an underground excavation project, no matter how large or small. The use of Call Sunshine reduces the loss of utility service to the public and the loss of time and money to both contractors and utilities.
In addition to contacting Call Sunshine, KUA offers these safety tips for a safe excavation:
— Mark the proposed excavation area with white chalk-based paint on paved surfaces, and flags or stakes on unpaved surfaces.
— Wait two working days until all utilities have marked the location of their underground facilities. If you believe a utility may not have marked their lines, contact Call Sunshine again and notify them.
— Carefully hand-excavate within 24 inches on either side of a utility-marked facility.
— Maintain facility marks for the duration of the job by being careful not to erase them while working. If you cannot see the markings, contact Call Sunshine and request a remarking.
— Requests to identify underground utilities are active for 14 days from the date of the first Call Sunshine call. If work continues beyond that, Call Sunshine must be notified and the ticket must be renewed.
— Immediately notify any utility about any contact, scrape, dent, nick or damage to its lines or pipes.
Founded in 1901, KUA is Florida’s 6th largest community-owned utility serving 58,000 electric, water and internet customers in five Central Florida counties.
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Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116
cgent@kua.com