PUCO: Call before you dig


COLUMBUS — More than 40 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year will put themselves and others at risk by not calling 811 before starting, according to the Common Ground Alliance.

April is National Safe Digging Month and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) reminds Ohioans of the importance of digging in a safe, responsible way by calling 811 before they dig.

“Even common projects like installing a mailbox or planting a tree require calling 811 before you dig,” said PUCO Interim Chairperson Beth Trombold. “This one easy step can save you and your neighbors from possible service outages and serious injuries.”

Ohio law requires that anyone planning a digging project call at least 48 hours and up to 10 days (not including weekends or legal holidays) before digging. Now, homeowners can also enter dig requests online with the OHIO811 e-dig ticket system. Submitting a ticket is as easy as entering a home’s location and a valid email address online. By simply contacting 811 at no cost, diggers can avoid potential utility outages, repair costs and serious or even fatal injuries.

When contacting 811, tell the operator what type of work will be done and the affected local utilities companies will be notified about the intent to dig. In a few days, they will send a locator to mark the approximate location of the underground lines, pipes and cables, so the digger will know what is below and can dig safely.

Commercial excavators, utility operators, designers and developers are subject to fines and/or other penalties if underground protection laws are not followed.

To learn more, visit www.oups.org or call 811.