COLUMBUS - The first days of spring have finally arrived and as Ohioans start to make plans for their outdoor home improvement projects or yard work, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) would like to remind everyone of the importance of digging in a safe, responsible way.
April is National Safe Digging Month, so if you have outdoor plans that involve any sort of digging or excavating, be sure to call 8-1-1 ahead of your scheduled start.
By simply calling 8-1-1, you can notify Ohio's one-call notification systems. The Ohio Utilities Protection Service coordinates with local utilities and the Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service coordinates with oil and gas production facilities to have underground lines marked, so you know ahead of time where it is safe to dig. Not only will doing so avoid headaches and make your job easier, but you avoid potential utility outages, repair costs and serious or even fatal injuries.
How do I know if my project requires me to call 8-1-1?
By law, everyone--including homeowners--must contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service, the Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service, 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764, at least 48-hours, but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays), before beginning any digging on their property. The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area, so it is always smart to have them marked.
What information is needed when I call?
Tell the operator where you are planning to dig, what type of work you will be doing and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you will know what is below and be able to dig safely.
To learn more, visit the Ohio Utilities Protection Service's website at www.oups.org, the Ohio Oil and Gas Producers Underground Protection Service's website at www.ogpups.org, or call 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764.