IUB Supports Iowa's One Call Law, Reminds Iowans to Always Call 811 Before Digging
April is National Safe Digging Month
April is annually recognized as National Safe Digging Month, and the IUB joins the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and Common Ground Iowa to remind Iowans to practice caution with any digging project by requesting a utility location through Iowa One Call or by calling 811 prior to beginning any digging work. Calling 811 is free and it’s the law.
A call to 811 or submitting information online to IowaOneCall.com notifies operators with underground utility facilities of your intent to dig. Iowa law requires that any resident or professional excavator contact 811, or Iowa One Call, a minimum of two business days before digging to prevent serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs that could occur when buried gas, electric, communications, water or sewer lines are damaged.
Once a locate request is submitted, utility companies typically respond within two business days by marking the underground utilities with color-coded flags and paint that indicate where utility lines are buried. The Attorney General’s (AG) office enforces the One Call law and the IUB assists the AG by investigating One Call complaints. The IUB recommends following these steps before starting any digging project:
- Always call 811 at least 48 hours before digging anywhere. Plan ahead and be flexible regarding potential delays due to COVID-19.
- Consider relocating any digging project that is near utility line markings.
- Confirm that a contractor has called 811. Don’t allow digging if utility lines aren’t marked.