We are soaking up as much as we can from my family on how to garden and landscape at our home. Growing up on a horticultural farm and having several relatives that have extensive landscaping backgrounds, I feel like it is my duty to learn as much as I can and keep the beauty going.
With National Garden Week happening June 2-8th this year, we got to thinking: what’s step one when prepping your landscape? It’s not the flowers…not the mulch…it’s making sure you know where your utility lines are before you dig. Are you surprised??
My Dad taught me this at a young age- you have to know where your underground utility lines are so you do not cut through them which would cost so much money to repair and could potentially injure you as well. We were reminded by National Fuel’s ‘Call Before You Dig’ campaign that you can make an easy call beforehand so you can check where you can and cannot dig: the number is ‘811’. All the details are on the website, too: www.call811.com
As new homeowners, this is helpful to us because we are not 100% sure where everything is buried. The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a national association, began this initiative within the utility industry in order to prevent damage to underground infrastructure and is committed to saving lives. They also state that:
- Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
- When you make the call to 811, damage occurs less than one percent of the time.
- Striking a single line can result in injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages.
- Nationally, 40% of homeowners who plan to dig will put themselves and others at risk by not calling 811 before starting.
It’s so easy to do, which makes the whole process so much nicer:
- Call 811 at least two days prior to digging and no more than 10 days prior. (maybe the beginning of the week before you get outside the following Saturday)
- Any type of digging requires a call (building a deck, installing a fence, planting a garden…)
With the weather warming up and National Garden Week here, make sure you give a call to 811 before you dig. It’s free, it’s easy, and you’ll be ready to grow! (see what we did there??)
*Thank you, National Fuel, for sponsoring this post on ‘Call Before You Dig’ in order to ensure we all remain safe.