IUB Reminds Iowans to Call 811 or Contact Iowa One Call Before Beginning to Dig
National Safe Digging Month recognizes importance of One Call law
(Des Moines) – April brings warmer temperatures and outdoor projects that often involve digging. The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) joins the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Iowa One Call, and Common Ground Iowa to remind Iowans during National Safe Digging Month to always schedule a utility location request through Iowa One Call or by calling 811 prior to beginning any digging work. Calling 811 is free ― and it’s the law.
Whether you are a resident, contractor, or professional excavator, 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, utility service disruptions, and possible costly repairs that could occur when buried gas, electric, communications, water, or sewer lines are damaged.
Once a locate request is submitted, utility companies visit the site, typically within two business days, to mark 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:
- Plan ahead and always call 811 at least 48 hours before digging anywhere.
- Consider relocating any digging project that is near utility line markings.
- Confirm that any contractor you have hired has called 811. Don’t allow digging if utility lines aren’t marked.
Iowa’s 811 call center is available to receive locate requests and assist with damage prevention needs. Learn more by visiting the Iowa One Call or Call 811 websites. Learn more about safe digging here.