Each April, Common Ground Alliances across North America raise awareness about damage prevention and safe digging as part of Dig Safe Month.
Dig Safe Month coincides with the unofficial start of the spring digging season to remind homeowners, contractors and others to CALL or CLICK before you dig.
Wherever you are located in Canada, or even the USA, you can visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com to find more information about safe digging in your community and create a locate request.
It is best to plan your digging projects ahead of time so that you can submit your locate request early. Submit your request at least 3 working days before you plan to begin digging. If you can, try to submit your request 5 days before you plan to start.
Some locate services may be impacted by the ongoing COVID19 pandemic. Be sure to visit your region’s One Call website or social media ahead of time to stay on top of any potential issues.
Why do I need a locate?
There are many reasons why it is important to request locates and dig safe, including both safety and economic reasons:
- Damage to buried utilities costs Canadians more than $1 billion every year.
- Striking a single utility line can result in repair costs, fines, and outages, and can cause serious injury or even fatalities.
- Even minor marks or dents can compromise a buried utility’s overall integrity and lead to problems at a later date.
- Erosion and other factors mean that locates provided for a past project may not be accurate today – you need to request new locates for every digging project.
- Some utilities are buried only a few inches under the ground, meaning you could strike and damage them even when you are only digging a few inches or disturbing the surface of the ground.
When do I need a locate?
In short, you need to request locates for ANY project that involves disturbing the surface of the ground.
Some projects you might do around your home that require locates are:
- Planting a tree
- Building a deck or fence
- Putting in a new garden
- Resurfacing your lawn
Do I need new locates for every project?
YES. If you are doing multiple projects, you need to request locates for each separate project.
If you request a locate before building a fence, the locator will mark utilities buried in or near the area identified for that project.
Utilities buried elsewhere on your property will not be marked, so you will need separate locates before, say, putting a garden in.
Even if you’ve hired a contractor, make sure they visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com to have lines marked.