Call before you dig
Contacting an electrical line can injure you and cause power outages. Hitting an underground gas pipe can create a fire or explosion. These lines can be just a foot under the ground. So whether you want to plant a tree or dig a trench, call the local utility locator service to arrange to have the location of any buried lines marked.
Note: Call at least three days before you plant bushes or trees. Your property will be marked to show the location of underground cables and utilities.
If you contact an underground utility:
- Leave the area immediately and tell others to stay away.
- Call 911 and the local utility company as quickly as possible.
- Report even minor damage; what looks harmless can cause big trouble.
Hand dig before using power-digging tools
The locator service provides the location of underground utilities, but not their depth. Before using power tools near buried facilities, hand dig to verify exact utility depth. Any time you suspect unmarked hazards, hand dig carefully.
- Use blunt-nosed shovel to loosen soil and regular shovel to remove dirt. Don't use pointed implements.
- Dig at angle so shovel is parallel to underground utilities.
- Backfill soil gently to avoid damaging any utilities.