It is no accident that National Safe Digging Day is August 11, providing an important reminder about the state law requiring everyone to dial 811 to have underground utility lines marked before you break ground. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law. It is no accident that National Safe Digging Day is August 11, providing an important reminder about the state law requiring everyone to dial 811 to have underground utility lines marked before you break ground. It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the law.

Actually, every day must be considered a “safe digging day.” The “Call Before You Dig” law applies at all times, to everyone – whether you’re a homeowner setting a fencepost or a contractor conducting a large excavation.

In Iowa, your toll-free call to 811 reaches Iowa One-Call, the free service that arranges for professionals to mark the location of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint or both. You can also enter your request at www.iowaonecall.com.

“Safety is always our first priority at Black Hills Energy, and we want to help our customers stay safe,” said Tracy Peterson, Black Hills Energy’s operating vice president for Iowa, where Black Hills Energy serves 156,000 customers. “When you’re planning to dig, don’t make a judgment call, make a phone call. Know what’s below – call 811 two to five business days before you plan to dig.”

Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone didn’t call 811 at least two business days before digging.  The risk can lurk just inches below the surface. How deep the utility lines are buried can change due to erosion, previous digging and uneven terrain.  A hit line carries the potential for serious personal injury and expensive property damage.

Visit www.blackhillsenergy.com for more information about 811, safe digging practices, how to save money by saving energy, and other energy-related services and information.