SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — August 11 is “811 Day” nationwide. It’s a convenient reminder for everyone to always contact 811 before digging.
Crews are busy this summer digging for utilities and working on construction projects. 811 Day reminds people to always call before they dig. It’s a free service nationwide.
“Each state has their own 811 call center and it’s basically for homeowners, utilities, contractors, you know, to call one location to call in to get utilities marked before they start an excavation,” South Dakota One Call board member Steve Mohr said.
You should call 811 before you dig for any project big or small, whether you’re planting a tree or burying a fiber optic line.
“You never know how deep those utilities are and sometimes they can be very, very shallow because of erosion or landscaping,” South Dakota One Call executive director Larry Janes said.
And once utilities are marked with spray paint and flags, they shouldn’t be touched until work is complete.
“You know, everybody wants their lawn to look nice, and yes, it’s the rainbow of colored flags in their yard, but the homeowner has to respect the marks so we don’t have to have double duty or delay our project by having to call in or respot because the flags were pulled and the marks were mowed over,” Mohr said.
The wait time for utilities to be located is two days, but it is worth it.
“There’s the risk of damage and having to pay for a repair bill,” Janes said. “There’s a risk of that utility filing a One Call complaint which is a legal complaint in South Dakota. You could have the repair bill, you could have a complaint filed and have a fine assessed by the One Call board.”
You could also risk taking down your own service, the neighborhood’s or even an entire city.
“Always call before you dig just to be safe,” Janes said “You want to be safe for yourself, your family, you want to go home at the end of the day and be able to be with everyone.”
If there is a utility line on your own property that is not registered with the 811 system, it is the property owner’s responsibility to make sure lines are marked before digging.
You can contact South Dakota 811, by simply dialing that number or online at sd811.com.