TOPEKA – Today, Governor Laura Kelly issued a proclamation declaring the month of April as “Safe Digging Month” in Kansas. The proclamation, in concurrence with National Safe Digging Month, reminds Kansans to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.
Governor Kelly joined the Kansas Corporation Commission, Kansas 811 and other industry professionals in encouraging excavators and homeowners to call 811 before they begin digging projects to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient utility outages. According to the Common Ground Alliance, a recent national survey reveals that 74% of U.S. homeowners plan to dig on their property this year. Of those who are planning projects, more than 49.3 million Americans will put themselves and their communities at risk by not contacting 811 before digging.
Dialing 811 connects callers to Kansas 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Calls are taken 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Locate requests can also be made online at www.kansas811.com. Excavators and homeowners are required to make a request at least two working days prior to beginning a digging project. Professional locators are sent to the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. There is no charge to have utility lines marked. The depth of utility lines vary and there may be multiple lines in a common area. Some utility lines are buried only a few inches below the surface, making them easy to strike during shallow digging projects. Installing a mailbox, landscaping, putting in a fence, and building a deck are all examples of digging projects that necessitate a call to 811.