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Click or call before you dig in your yard; it’s easy and it’s the law.

(St. Paul, Minn., June 26, 2023) Hidden dangers may lurk below the surface of your very own yard. Striking an underground electrical wire or gas line when digging for your summer home improvement project could be both dangerous and expensive, but there’s a sure-fire way to stay safe.

Clicking on the Gopher State One Call website or calling 8-1-1 results in a fast, free service to mark underground utilities, allowing you to pursue your home projects with confidence.

“It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s the law,” says Barb Cederberg, Chief Operations Officer of Gopher State One Call, the Minnesota non-profit organization that notifies utility companies of your intent to dig so that they can provide utility markings for commercial and residential digging or excavation projects.

According to Cederberg, homeowners who don’t Click or Call may strike underground water, electrical or gas lines. She said accidents often occur for common digging projects, including planting trees, fencing, patio construction or other home improvement projects. Gas lines or other utilities can be surprisingly close to the surface. She suggests a quick and easy method to avoid problems:

  1. Plan ahead. Click onto www.gopherstateonecall.org or call 8-1-1 at least three business days before digging. Enter your information, and utility company locators will arrive at your home to mark the utility lines. Please note, for privately owned lines such as a gas line to a grill or an electric line to an out-building, a private locator must be called for marking of these lines.
  2. Wait for the marks. Wait for the locators and their markings before digging.
  3. Dig with care. Carefully dig around the designated areas, ensuring you avoid any marked lines.

Cederberg emphasized that beyond the safety aspects of calling ahead for utility markings, it is Minnesota State law to do so.

“It’s incredibly easy, plus it’s free. Just a little planning will assure your safety while giving you confidence before wielding your shovel or post hole digger for your summer project.” Cederberg said.

About Gopher State One Call
Gopher State One Call was established by state law in 1987, following a horrendous pipeline accident explosion in Mounds View, MN. It is governed by a volunteer board of about 20 directors representing utilities, excavators and other safety-minded individuals. More information on scheduling marking before your dig is available at www.gopherstateonecall.org.

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