Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. But when someone decides to take shortcuts, weekend projects can lead to power, internet, phone and cable outages, injuries and sometimes worse. That’s why it’s so important (actually, it’s the law) to have buried utilities in your yard located and marked before you dig.
Here are the 5 steps for safe digging:
- Prepare the required information, including contact name, telephone numbers and email address, county and city, street address where you will be digging, name of nearest intersecting street, date and time digging is scheduled to begin, number of days you’ll be digging, detailed description of where on property the digging will take place, type of work being done (e.g. fence install, landscaping, irrigation install, etc.), type of equipment to be used, any special instructions.
- Contact Sunshine 811 by dialing 8-1-1 or creating an online ticket at https://my.sunshine811.com 2-3 days before work begins. When you have provided all the required information, you will be assigned a ticket number.
- Wait the required amount of time for affected utility operators to respond to your request. Affected utilities will send a locator to mark any underground utility lines.
- Confirm that all affected utilities have responded by tracking their progress in the Positive Response System (PRS). Sometimes no one will ever show up at your house because the utility has cleared or indicated no conflict with your project. By checking PRS, you can save yourself a lot of frustration waiting for marks that are not going to appear.
- Dig carefully around the locate flags. If you can’t avoid digging near them (within 24 inches on all sides), consider moving your project.
Sunshine 811 is a free service for your safety, your family’s safety and your neighborhood’s safety.