April Is National Safe Digging Month

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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April Is National Safe Digging Month

Posted: 04/02/2012
Governor Bill Haslam has issued a proclamation announcing April as Tennessee Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds Tennessee homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects. A phone call to 811 allows homeowners to have utility-owned underground lines marked for free.

April marks the start of spring digging season, so KUB, 811, and Governor Haslam are encouraging homeowners to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries. An underground utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and one-third of these incidents are caused because the digger did not call 811 to properly locate the underground utility lines.

Tennessee State Law requires anyone about to engage in digging, excavation, moving of earth, demolition, or any type of activity that could damage underground utility lines, to notify 811 of their intent to dig no less than three business days before the work is to begin. 811 will then notify KUB and other member utilities about the proposed work and will mark the requested excavation area with paint or flags so customers will know where to dig safely during excavation.

Knowing where lines are buried before each digging project helps protect customers from injury, expense, and penalties from damages.

Please note:

The depths of utility lines vary and multiple lines may exist in the same area. Damages to these lines can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm excavators, and result in fines and repair costs. Utilities that will be marked include: primary electric lines, water and wastewater mains, and natural gas mains and services. Customer-owned buried lines such as sewer laterals, underground electrical service lines, water lines, lines for outside lighting, invisible fencing, irrigation systems, customer fuel lines, or any other customer-owned line, will not be marked. Customers should always use extreme caution when they dig, and avoid digging within the utility safety zone. The safety zone is a strip of land the width of the marked utility, plus two feet on either side.

Any digging project, no matter how large or small, can result in damages if underground utility lines are not located and marked beforehand. So always remember to phone 811 to have those buried lines located for free, even if you are just planning to do simple projects around the house, like installing a mailbox or planting trees and shrubs.

For more information on National Safe Digging Month, go to www.call811.com or visit KUB's website at www.kub.org and click on the Safety & Outages tab. To report damage to a KUB utility line, call (865) 524-2911.

KUB is a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties and provides electric, gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 439,000 customers.