Oklahoma Corporation Commission Chairman Dana Murphy is reminding Oklahomans that any outdoor digging project this spring should start with a phone call.
April is a national safe digging month.
Murphy said dialing 8-1-1 can save you from a terrible accident.
“Oklahoma has thousands of miles of buried pipeline and utility cable,” Murphy said.
“The only way to be sure you won’t hit those lines is to have them located and marked. All you have to do is dial 8-1-1 or 1-800-522-OKIE and the OKIE 811 service will take it from there.”
She said it doesn’t matter if one hole or a hundred are being dug.
“—digging without first dialing 8-1-1 or 1-800-522-OKIE puts you and others at risk for serious injury and could result in major damage to critical pipelines and utility service.”
Murphy warned that even a shallow hole can be dangerous.
“Many people wrongly think they should only check with OKIE 811 if they’re digging a deep hole,” Murphy said.
“You can hit a line even if you’re digging relatively shallow holes, such as those for planting a small tree or a mailbox post.”
The Commissioner said new digging projects should not be started without having a yard marked for lines, even if one had been marked in the past.
“Erosion and root system growth can alter the depth or location of buried lines, or your utility companies may have completed work on their lines since the last time you dug,” Murphy noted. “For your own safety you must contact 811 before you dig, each and every time.”
Both 8-1-1 and 1-800-522-OKIE will put the caller in touch with the same free service, which will arrange to have underground lines marked before digging begins. For more information go to www.okie811.org .