April is National Safe Digging Month

(Columbia Gas of Ohio) – Since 2008, April in Ohio has been proclaimed Safe Digging Month. Columbia Gas of Ohio encourages customers and contractors to contact 811 at least 48 hours before starting any digging project.

Thousands of buried utilities are damaged each year due to digging activities. Safe Digging Month reminds homeowners and contractors that digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.

“Safe digging is significant for public safety. Unsafe digging can result in costly repairs, injuries, financial penalties, or even deadly consequences. The good news is that a simple call to 811 will properly locate underground utilities in your dig area and avoid costly consequences,” said Mahesh Nagarkatti, vice president of Gas Operations at Columbia Gas. Contacting 811 is free. Dial 811 on your device or visit Ohio811 at least 48 hours before digging. After an initial contact of 811, professional locators will arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. Each color of paint and/or flag represents a unique type of underground utility.

As part of National Safe Digging Month, Columbia Gas encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

· Always call 811 a few days before digging. Call at least 48 hours before beginning your project.

· Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line-markings.

· If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

· Visit ColumbiaGasOhio.com/811 for more information.

Visit Ohio811and ColumbiaGasOhio.com/811for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

A young guy digging a deep hole with a shovel is surprised by an amazing find. View from the underground at the grave digger

Photo: Getty Images

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