Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has proclaimed April as “Safe Digging Month.” The proclamation, in concurrence with National Safe Digging Month, reminds Kansans to call 811 before starting any outdoor that requires digging—including landscaping and home improvement projects. Calling 811 is a no-cost, convenient way to avoid injuries, property damage and outages.
The Kansas Corporation Commission, Kansas One-Call, the Kansas Pipeline Association, the Common Ground Alliance, and Governor Brownback are encouraging excavators and homeowners to call 811 before they begin digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient outages. A utility line is damaged by digging once every eight minutes nationwide, and one-third of those incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or homeowner to call 811 before digging.
When dialing 811, callers are connected to Kansas One-Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Calls are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week and requests can also be entered at www.kansasonecall.com. Excavators and homeowners are required to make a request at least two working days in advance of beginning a digging project. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. There is no charge to have utility lines marked. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple lines in a common area. Some utility lines are buried only a few inches below the surface, making them easy to strike during shallow digging projects. Installing a mailbox, landscaping, putting in a fence, and building a deck are all examples of digging projects that necessitate a call to 811 before starting.