For personal safety and to protect underground utility infrastructure, the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) reminds all Iowans to dial 811 (or 1-800-292-8989) before digging for any projects this spring.
April is Safe Digging Month across the nation and in Iowa, as declared by Governor Chet Culver, Iowa One Call, and Common Ground Iowa (CGI), to help prevent undesired consequences like service disruption, environmental damage, and personal injuries or death.
Iowa One Call receives the calls Iowans make to report their intent to dig and notifies the appropriate utilities to locate and mark utility lines for them. CGI is a regional partner of a national alliance of about 1,400 members that works to ensure public safety, environmental protection, and integrity of services by promoting effective damage protection practices.
Everyone, not just contractors, needs to account for what is potentially below ground before digging.
For any home or farm project that involves digging, call at least 48 hours in advance to have underground utilities marked. At no cost to you, Iowa One Call will contact the locators to mark underground gas, electric, and communications utility locations for you before you dig.
This must be done anytime you plan to dig, whether it's part of a farm or construction job or any simple homeowner project like installing a pole in the ground for a basketball hoop, building a patio deck or room addition, planting trees, renovating a driveway, or installing a lawn sprinkler system.
The marking of the utility lines helps protect customers and their neighbors from potential fire hazards or explosions from punctured natural gas lines, high voltage shocks from buried electrical lines, and service interruptions including critical services like 911.
Anyone digging without having utility lines marked in advance may be liable for any damages caused by excavation. Again, notifying Iowa One Call can avoid those unnecessary emergency situations and disruptions of utility and communications services. One Call service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Don't take a risk, stay safe -- it's easy and the call and service are free.
Farmers and drainage tilers planning any kind of excavation also must provide notification to Iowa One Call at least 48 hours ahead of time. Excavators are required to preserve markings at all times during excavation.