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If You’re Planting A Tree On Earth Day This Year You’d Better Read This

Photo by Chris McGrath

With Earth Day coming up, if any of you hippies are planning on planting a tree please be careful. There could be utility lines under where you’re about to dig. And that kind of thing has the potential to ruin your entire day. Here’s some helpful information from our friends at Dig Safely NY. Basically, if you’re going to dig and there’s any question if there’s power lines, they’ll make sure it gets checked out. So plant safely this Earth Day!

Dig Safely New York, Inc. (DSNY), recognizes that many people will be planting trees for Earth Day on April 22, 2014. For that reason, DSNY would like to remind the general public about the importance of dialing 811 before digging, at least three (3) days ahead of time to have underground utility lines marked.   Approximately 25% of damages to underground utilities occur in New York due to not calling 811. By calling 811 at least three (3) days in advance, you reduce your chances of digging into a buried utility line to less than 1%. Because the depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces, DSNY urges you not to underestimate the importance of having underground utility lines marked. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages.
Everyone who makes the free call to 811 is connected to the Dig Safely New York call center, out of East Syracuse. Call-center operators receive basic information about the perspective job and its location, and immediately follow-up by contacting the necessary utility companies based on the area and information on behalf of the caller. In only three (3) days (or less), each utility company will locate and mark the location of the underground lines, pipes, and cables to ensure the person or company can dig safely and complete the project without injury to themselves or others. Once all the lines have been properly marked, the requester will receive an automated response with a notation from each utility company, informing them on the location details before digging.
DSNY serves the entire state of New York (55 counties), with the exception of New York City and Long Island. Call-center operators at Dig Safely New York are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive and process calls. With each call, Dig Safely New York notifies an average of six utility owners, saving excavators, homeowners, and contractors time and money. “With the possibility of utility lines only a few inches from the surface, this simple and free call to 811 will help volunteers, contractors, and do-it-yourself diggers avoid striking an underground utility line, preventing harm to themselves or others,” said Kevin Hopper, Operations Manager, Dig Safely New York. “It is, however, imperative that the project owners call at least three (3) days prior to the commencement of digging for the utility companies to have time to go out and mark their lines.” Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged in the United States because someone decided to commence digging before calling 811.
Visit www.digsafelynewyork.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.
About Dig Safely New York, Inc.
Dig Safely New York, Inc. is a one-call notification center that informs member utility owners of a contractor’s or homeowner’s proposed excavation plans. Anyone who is planning to dig must contact Dig Safely New York, Inc. by calling 811 at least two full working days prior to any digging.  In turn, Dig Safely New York, Inc. arranges for member utility operators to have the underground lines at the project site marked so that workers and homeowners can carefully excavate around them and protect the lines. For more information about Dig Safely New York, Inc. visit www.digsafelynewyork.com

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