CALL BEFORE YOU DIG
You may be surprised by what's buried in your yard. That's because most electric, gas, water, sewer and telecommunications companies are delivering utility services underground. To avoid personal injury and damage to those underground lines, state law requires you to contact JULIE, Inc., before any digging project, regardless of the project size or depth.
You can call JULIE at 8-1-1 or enter your locate request via www.illinois1call.com
Both the call and JULIE's services are free.
April marks the eighth annual National Safe Digging Month, reminding homeowners and professional excavators in Illinois to call JULIE before every digging project this spring.
“With a growing trend of do-it-yourselfers focusing on outdoor beautification and home improvement projects, the first step to any successful project is notifying JULIE,” said Kevin Chmura, director of public relations for JULIE, Inc. “Safe digging is no accident. When homeowners inadvertently cut or damage lines during so-called routine projects, the results can still take a staggering toll, in terms of costly delays, environmental or property damage, liability, personal injury and even loss of life.”
All digging projects—from relatively small tasks like planting a tree or shrub to more complex projects like installing a deck, fence or home addition—require a call. “Any number of utility lines may rest where you intend to dig.
What appears to be the perfect place to plant a shrub or set a post may be home to water, electric, gas or sewer lines. If you hit those lines while digging, it can result in interruption of service, costly repairs and penalties, injury, or death.
HOW IT WORKS
When homeowners call 8-1-1, they speak with a JULIE call center agent. The agent records the location and description of the project site, and notifies affected member-utility owners and operators. The utilities send a professional locator (JULIE personnel do not perform locating or marking services) to mark the approximate location of their underground utility lines with small flags or paint.
JULIE’s call center agents are available to receive and process requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week at either 8-1-1 or 800-892-0123. E-Request, a free, web-based program for homeowners with Internet access who prefer to enter their own utility locate requests via www.illinois1call.com is also a popular option.
Both the call and locating service are free.
“Don’t make a judgment call, make the phone call to JULIE,” said Chmura. “When homeowners inadvertently cut or damage underground lines during so-called routine projects such as planting trees and shrubs or preparing a new garden or landscape feature, the results can take a staggering toll in terms of costly delays, environmental or property damage, liability, personal injury and even loss of life.”
Types of projects that require notifying JULIE include, but are not limited to, planting trees, bushes or shrubs; putting up a fence or tent; installing a swing set, a mail box post or water feature such as a pool, pond or fountain; building a deck; or preparing a new garden or landscape area.
For a free copy of JULIE’s Homeowner’s Guide, an explanation of the color-code markings and information about the one-call process, visit www.illinois1call.com.