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News Release
Know What's Below, Call 811 Before You Dig - 04/15/21

April is National Safe Digging Month

SALEM, Ore. – In honor of National Safe Digging Month, Oregon’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) reminds Oregonians to call 811 at least two business days before digging to have underground utility lines marked to avoid life-threatening injuries and prevent damage to necessary services.  

“With the continuation of the pandemic into 2021 and the return of nice weather, we recognize more people may be spending time doing yard-improvement projects, so we want to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before any digging is done to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Megan Decker, PUC Chair. “This is essential to ensure utility services are not interrupted for community members as we continue to deal with COVID-19, as well as to avoid costly repair bills.”

The Oregon Utility Notification Center, who operates the free 811 one-call center, notifies the utility companies that serve the area of the planned project. Utility personnel then visit the project site to mark the approximate location of the underground lines, pipes and cables in the planned digging area at no cost to the homeowner. 

“Never assume a digging project is too shallow and won’t hit a utility line,” added Decker. “Whether planting a tree or a shrub, building a deck, or installing a fence, always call 811 at least two business days ahead to have your lines located. This is the only way to know what’s below.”

Statistics show that a majority of line strikes occur during the warmer months when excavation and construction work is being done. In 2019 an estimated 453,766 line strikes occurred nationwide, 22 percent of which were due to insufficient notice to the 811 service.

Call 811 or visit digsafelyoregon.com to submit a locate request or to learn more about safe digging practices.

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