Digging, Shovel

MANSFIELD -- Got plans for an outdoor DIY or home improvement project this summer?

Columbia Gas wants to make sure your plans involve calling 811 before you dig. If not, you could be putting yourself in danger and on the hook for costly repair fees.

According to a survey by the Common Ground Alliance, about 42 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year will put themselves in danger by not calling 811 before they dig.

“The first step of any project that involves digging should be to call 811,” said Bill Loomer, communications and community relations manager for Columbia Gas. “It’s incredibly easy and can help keep you, and you’re neighbors safe.”

Digging without knowing the location of underground utilities can result in serious injury, service disruptions, and costly repairs.

Here’s a look at the Top 3 DIY or remodeling projects that often result in a gas line damage that could have been prevented by calling 811 first.

1) Planting a tree or shrub- Many homeowners do not realize that a tree or shrub could be planted deep enough to interfere with your gas line. Gas lines and other utilities may be a lot shallower than you think.

2) Building a patio or deck - If you’re doing any work that involves digging holes for posts, call 811 before you dig. It takes 48 hours, and you can build with the peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be digging near any gas lines.

3) Installing a fence or mailbox - Even something quick and simple like digging a small hole for a mailbox post could end up puncturing your gas line and resulting in costly repairs.

Fortunately, all of these DIY and outdoor remodeling projects can be done safely by calling 811 before you dig. Call 811 two business days before you plan to begin your project, and your local utility companies will come by and mark their lines on your property.

The service is free. It’s easy. It’s the law.

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