GRIMES, Iowa – Aug. 8, 2014 – What could be more appropriate? National Safe Digging Day is Aug. 11, providing an important opportunity to stress the state law to dial 811 and have underground utility lines marked for free before you break ground.
Actually, every day must be considered a “safe digging day.” The “Call Before You Dig” law applies at all times, to homeowners and contractors alike – whether you’re a setting a fencepost or excavating a basement.
In Iowa, your toll-free call to 811 reaches Iowa One-Call, the free service that arranges for a professional to mark the location of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint or both. You can also enter your request at www.DigSafeWait48.com.
Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone didn’t call 811 at least two days before digging.
“Safety is always our first priority at Black Hills Energy, and we want to help our customers stay safe,” said Tracy Peterson, Black Hills Energy’s operating vice president for Iowa.
Just nicking an underground wire or pipe can create liability for expensive repair bills and heavy fines. Far worse, some lines carry the potential for extensive property damage and serious personal injury.
The risk can lurk just inches below the surface. How deep the utility lines are buried can change due to erosion, previous digging and undulating terrain.
“When you’re planning to dig, don’t make a judgment call, make a phone call,” Peterson said. “Know what’s below. Call 811 two to five days before you plan to dig.”
Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for more information about 811, safe digging practices, how to save money by saving energy, and other energy-related services and information.
Boilerplate Black Hills/Iowa Gas Utility Company, LLC d/b/a Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Energy, a subsidiary of Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH), serves 153,000 natural gas customers in 132 Iowa communities and is a recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2013 ENERGY STAR® Leadership in Housing Award. Black Hills Corp. is a growth-oriented, vertically-integrated energy company with a tradition of exemplary service and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Black Hills Corp. is based in Rapid City, S.D., and serves 777,000 natural gas and electric utility customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Black Hills Corp. also generates wholesale electricity and produces natural gas, oil and coal. Black Hills Corp.’s 1,948 employees partner to produce results that are improving life with energy. More information is available at www.blackhillscorp.com.