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Call Before You Dig, National Safe Digging Month Highlights Importance of 811 Notification

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In recognition of National Safe Digging Month this April, Columbia Gas has released findings from a recent national survey, shedding light on homeowners’ attitudes toward outdoor digging projects and safety measures.

According to the survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners, over half (51 percent) have plans to undertake a do-it-yourself digging project in the next year. However, concerning findings reveal that 56 percent of respondents do not intend to notify 811 ahead of time, potentially putting themselves and their communities at risk.

Each year, thousands of buried utilities suffer damage due to digging activities. Safe Digging Month serves as a reminder to homeowners and contractors that undertaking digging without knowledge of the approximate location of underground utilities can lead to serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs.

To mitigate these risks, Columbia Gas urges individuals to make use of the free locate request service provided by 811. By submitting a request online at ohio811.org or by calling 811 at least two full business days before digging, individuals can help maintain essential utility services while ensuring community safety by reducing the likelihood of accidentally hitting buried lines.

Vince Parisi, President & COO of Columbia Gas of Ohio, emphasizes the importance of taking proactive safety measures: “It takes just a few minutes to submit a locate request by phone or online. Those few minutes can make a big difference when it comes to safety. There‚Äôs just no reason to take a chance on hitting a utility line that could result in injuries, service disruptions, repair costs, and fines.”

Upon contacting 811, professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint, each color representing a unique type of underground utility. It’s crucial for individuals to confirm that all lines have been marked before commencing any digging activity.

Columbia Gas provides the following recommendations for safe digging practices:

  • Always contact 811 at least two full business days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead and call on Monday or Tuesday for weekend projects, allowing ample time for lines to be marked.
  • Hand dig within 18 inches on either side of the width of the utility line.
  • Consider relocating the project if it is near utility line markings.
  • Confirm that contractors have contacted 811 before allowing work to begin.

For additional information and to view Ohio’s Dig Law, individuals are encouraged to visit ohio811.org. Stay safe and dig responsibly this National Safe Digging Month.