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Huntsville Utilities wants you to ‘call before you dig’ before starting your outdoor summer projects

Spring is in full swing, and summer is right around the corner which means now is the season for all of those at-home projects and honey-do lists.

However, if your projects include stepping outside and trying your hand at landscaping, there are a few things to check off your list in order to “know what’s below” before you get started.

Huntsville Utilities values your safety and is a member of Call 811, the “call before you dig” program. As soon as you call 811, the free, national service sends notification of your intent to dig or excavate to all its members in the area. The members will then come and mark off the location of any underground utility equipment, so you know where it is safe to dig and where it isn’t!

For ease, the color-coded system is referenced on their website and is as follows:

  • White – proposed excavation
  • Pink – temporary survey markings
  • Red – electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables
  • Yellow – gas, oil, steam, petroleum, or gasses materials
  • Orange – communication, alarm, or signal lines, cables or conduit
  • Blue – portable water
  • Purple – reclaimed water, irrigation, and slurry lines
  • Green – sewers and drain lines

5 tips to remember after calling:

  1. Wait 3 full business days before you begin
  2. Dig with caution within 24” of any marks indicating buried utilities
  3. Hand dig (with no power tools) within 18″ of any marked facilities
  4. Use white paint to outline the planned excavation area
  5. If you have questions about the marks Huntsville Utilities has placed on the ground, call 256-535-1432. DO NOT make assumptions regarding the location of underground utilities

In the midst of excitement of being a first-time homeowner or avid DIYer it can be easy to forget the importance of requesting line locations before getting started. But planning ahead will help prevent injury and protect underground facilities from costly damage.

So, remember, know what’s below! Call 811 before you dig.

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