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Call before you dig this Spring

With warmer weather here, you will probably be working in your yard.

If your work includes any digging, it is required by law in Illinois, Missouri and Iowa to call 811 before you do.

811 is the phone number you call before digging to protect yourself and others from hitting underground utility lines, including electricity and natural gas.

You should call the free number a few days before you dig and someone will come to your home and mark the ground with flags or paint, to designate where the lines are.

“We have to respond not only the emergency situation dealing with a potential leak but we’re putting people at risk by responding hot to the city meaning lights and sirens,” Quincy Fire Chief Joe Henning said.

“When we get on scene we’re putting both emergency responders and citizens at risk, so if people simply think to call 811 before they do the digging, that should ensure people come out and mark where the locations are and dig safely.”

Water main lines are also underground and it could cause problems if you hit it.

“Water mains are under pressure and if potentially hit and broken could cause wide spread flooding and damage to properties and personnel,” Quincy City Engineer Jeffrey Conte said.

Calling can prevent injuries, damage to properties, or utility service outages to the neighborhood and potential fines and repair costs.

Violating the law could cost you thousands of dollars, depending on the violation and state.

To read 811 laws in your state click here.

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