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April is National Safe Digging Month

Call 811 before you dig! According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA):

• More than 200,000 underground utility lines are struck each year in the U.S.

• 37 percent of all U.S. digging damages result from not calling before digging.

• Some utilities are buried only a few inches underground, making them easy to strike even during shallow digging projects.

CGA and its stakeholders have designated April 2010 as National Safe Digging Month. Governor Bill Ritter has proclaimed April 2010 as Colorado Dig Safely Month. This month is dedicated to increasing awareness of safe digging practices across the country and to celebrate the three-year anniversary of 811, the national call-before-you-dig number.

Dial 811 from anywhere in the country a few days prior to digging, and your call will be routed to your local One Call Center. Tell the operator where you’re planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing, and your affected local utilities companies will be notified about your intent to dig. In a few days, they’ll send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground lines, pipes and cables, so you’ll know what’s below — and be able to dig safely. Best of all? This service is free.

Throughout the busy digging month of April, the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District encourages homeowners and contractors to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, expensive property damage and inconvenient electrical, phone, cable, natural gas, propane, water and sewer outages.

Remember: If you don’t call 811, you may have to call 911.