Gov. Holcomb Proclaims April as Indiana Safe Digging Month

Indiana 811 reminds Hoosiers to contact 811 before digging for home improvement projects to prevent damage to underground utility lines, and keep communities safe and connected to essential services.

INDIANAPOLIS (April 1, 2021) – With warmer weather approaching and spring home improvement projects beginning, Gov. Eric Holcomb recently proclaimed April as Indiana Safe Digging Month. The proclamation serves as a reminder to Indiana professional excavators and homeowners to contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days before starting any outdoor digging projects.

According to a recent survey by Common Ground Alliance – the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities – a third of U.S. homeowners (33%) reported experiencing a utility service interruption during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, of the 19.5 million U.S. homeowners who plan to dig this year for projects such as gardening, building a fence or deck, installing a mailbox, and more, nearly two in five (37%) will put themselves and their communities at risk by digging without contacting 811 beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.

“We join Gov. Holcomb in encouraging homeowners and professionals to contact Indiana 811 before digging,” said Justin Sell, Director of Operations and Technology at Indiana 811. “Homeowners in Indiana and beyond are using their extra time at home to complete projects that require digging, so it’s of the utmost importance that homeowners contact 811 before starting projects such as installing a fence or planting a garden. Doing so will help keep communities safe and connected to the critical utility services we all rely on every day.”

Everyone who contacts 811 by phone or by visiting a few days before digging is connected to Indiana 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

As part of National Safe Digging Month, Indiana 811 encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

  • Always contact 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Contact Indiana 811 on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm that all lines have been marked. 
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.