April is annually recognized as National Safe Digging Month. As construction activity starts to pick back up across the State, we want to remind all Iowans and contractors to be safe and always call 811 before any construction or digging projects. The call is free and Iowa law requires everyone to locate underground utilities before digging.
The majority of ICN’s fiber optic infrastructure is located underground. If an underground utility line is hit while digging, it can cause serious injuries, disrupt service to our healthcare, government, and education users, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
It may be easier than you think to hit a buried line when digging. That’s why every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. The depth of the utility lines can vary due to erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines must be properly marked because even digging only a few inches carries the risk of damage.
Contact Iowa One Call at 811 or 1-800-292-8989 a minimum of two days (excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays) before excavation begins.
After Iowa One Call is contacted, the following will happen.
- Operators with underground facilities in the area where the excavation is planned are notified. This includes natural gas and power utilities, communications companies, and cities and towns.
- Within 48 hours after being contacted, utilities either mark their underground facilities with color-coded paint marks or flags, or notify Iowa One Call it has no lines in the area.
ICN is committed to keeping services running smoothly all year long. Confirm that a contractor has called 811. Don’t allow digging if utility lines aren’t marked.