NEW JERSEY – Representatives of the SUEZ water company are reminding residents about “Safe Digging Month” which is recognized each April.
The observance is designed to bring awareness to the public regarding importance of safely digging around your own property.
SUEZ Director of Operations Jim Mastrokalos said, “the current health crisis continues to point to a vast revival in landscaping and other outside home projects to help stay physically and emotionally healthy.”
He added, “while some schools and businesses remain partially or totally closed and community events scaled down or cancelled, free time for families include DIY projects and other outside plans, but these undertakings must be met with continued safety precautions.”
Mastrokalos noted that digging a new garden or constructing new outdoor fencing without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities might cause severe injuries or lead to major service interruptions.
“Depths of pipelines, wires and cables vary, ensuring public safety, protecting the environment and maintaining service which is crucial. Yet water mains or buried electrical wires can increase the likelihood of unintentional rupture, but these accidents are preventable when you follow the first step in calling 811,” he added.
A federally-mandated national “Call Before You Dig” number, 811, was created to help protect homeowners, contractors and utilities from accidentally striking underground utility lines while working on digging projects.
Mastrokalos reminded customers that residential and business customers are strongly encouraged to call 811 at least three business days before the start of a digging project, even if it involves planting a tree or installing a mailbox. When calling 811, homeowners and business owners are connected to the local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig.
Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Additional information about digging safely can be found at call811.com.