Gopher State One Call Celebrates Fifth Annual National Safe Digging Month
Minnesota residents are encouraged to always contact Gopher State One Call a few days before digging
Minneapolis, MN, (March 27, 2012) – April 2012 marks the fifth annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding Minnesota excavator and homeowners to always contact Gopher State One Call a few days before any digging project. National Safe Digging Month is formally recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate and has traditionally earned the support from nearly every state governor across the country. Minnesota’s Governor, Mark Dayton, has signed a proclamation declaring April as the National Safe Digging Month. Click here to view the proclamation.
811 is a national hotline established to connect homeowners and contractors to their state’s One Call Center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Each One Call Center also provides a local number to reach them, as well as quick online tools to submit dig information electronically. Gopher State One Call’s online ticket submission website, E-Ticket, can be found at www.gopherstateonecall.org/submit.
Once dig notification is received by Gopher State One Call, professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. A utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of these incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or homeowner to contact their One Call Center before beginning their digging project.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting Gopher State One Call. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after providing notice to Gopher State One Call.
“As April marks the traditional start of the digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to contact Gopher State One Call before they begin digging,” said Jon Eisele, Gopher State One Call Director of Public Relations and Education. “By providing notice of excavation to Gopher State One Call and having the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Throughout April, Gopher State One Call will be promoting National Safe Digging Month through statewide outreach and local events. For more information, visit www.gopherstateonecall.com or www.call811.com.