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STAY SAFE: Notify Iowa One Call before digging

March 20, 2008

Planning a new deck, patio, or room addition?  Maybe you want to install a new fence or plant some trees or shrubs?  For your own safety, before doing any digging, dial 811 or 1-800-292-8989 to have underground utilities marked in advance.  It’s a free service and Iowa law requires that people do this.

For any home or farm project that involves digging deeper than a few inches into the ground (for example, standard planting of flowers is safe), call Iowa One Call at least 48 hours in advance.  At no cost to you, Iowa One Call will contact locators to mark underground gas, electric, and communications utility locations for you before you dig.  This needs to 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, 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 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 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.


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