Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 1, 2021
With spring weather's arrival, projects ranging from major construction to backyard improvements go into full swing, and each year underground utilities are damaged thousands of times because individuals neglect to have buried lines marked before digging.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued a proclamation marking April as Safe Digging Month. Governor Whitmer, the Michigan Public Service Commission and MISS DIG 811, the state's underground utility locator, urge all Michiganders to call 811 at least three business days (72 hours) before digging to ensure underground utilities aren't damaged, leading to dangerous and potentially deadly consequences, no matter the size of an excavation project.
The call to MISS DIG 811 is free and ensures buried phone, gas, electric, water and sewer and other underground utilities are clearly marked with flags before digging projects begin.
"We strongly encourage anyone planning to dig, whether it's digging for a new fence in their back yard, or a construction crew preparing for a big project, to call 811 first," said MPSC Chair Dan Scripps. "Calling 811 helps prevent underground utility lines from being damaged during digging, leading to possible service outages, injuries or deaths."
Over 60% of homeowners already call 811 before beginning projects that involve digging, according to Common Ground Alliance, a national association dedicated to preventing damage to buried utility infrastructure.
Call 811 at least three days before digging or fill out a request online at www.MISSDIG811.org. Trained workers from utility companies will be sent to job sites to mark the location of utilities with spray paint or flags. Anyone planning to dig is asked not to do so until utilities are marked, and to carefully dig by hand in the designated utility area.
"Contacting MISS DIG 811 before you dig is easy and free, and it's the law," said Bruce Campbell, CEO of MISS DIG System Inc. "It's a required step to make to help keep you and your neighbors safe and prevent damage to underground utilities."
Check out the MPSC's tip sheet on MISS DIG 811 and safe digging.
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