Call Before You Dig – Safety With Spring Gardening

April 11, 2017

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Spring planting? Call before you dig. Rocky Mountain Power reminds the public that it’s important to call 8-1-1 before digging for those spring yard improvement projects. Electricity is just one service that has underground lines and contacting underground electrical facilities can cause serious injuries.

“Calling 8-1-1 is the safe way to begin gardening and landscaping projects,” said Mike Felice, Rocky Mountain Power safety director. “Whether it’s putting in a new fence, planting a tree or establishing a garden, it’s impossible to know for sure where underground services have been placed. Calling the utility locating service protects both individuals from potential physical harm and neighborhoods from disrupted services.”

By calling 8-1-1, workers, will locate all underground utility lines – electric, gas, water, communication, etc. – and mark them. This service is free. The request for locator services must be made a minimum of two business days prior to digging. Once the lines are located, follow the required clearances:

  • Minimum clearance is 24 inches from the marked line when using any power-operated or earth-moving equipment.
  • Use only hand tools within 24 inches of the markings, and use them with extreme caution.
  • Remember that due to settling, soil erosion over time and changes in landscaping, utility lines that were once buried several feet underground could now be just inches below the surface.

Any time an underground power line is damaged during digging, immediately call emergency services at 9-1-1 if a threat to human life exists and keep everyone away from the area until help arrives. In addition, call Rocky Mountain Power so the line can be repaired. The toll-free number to report the damage is 877-508-5088.

“Using the underground utility locating services is a simple precaution that can help avoid serious injury and potential power outages,” Felice said. “Call before you dig is the best advice anytime.”

For more information, visit rockymountainpower.net/safety, or call toll free at 888-221-7070.
 

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