When warmer weather arrives, many people’s thoughts turn to outdoor projects big and small. But careless digging poses a threat to underground utilities. Whether your plans involve excavating for a building or landscaping project, or you’re going to be planting a tree or garden, it’s always best to consult these safety tips before you break ground on your project.
Five steps to safer digging
1. Notify. Call 8-1-1 or make a request online two to three days before your work begins. The operator will notify the utilities affected by your project.
2. Wait. Wait two to three days for affected utilities to respond to your request. They will send a locator to mark any underground utility lines.
3. Confirm. Confirm that all affected utilities have responded to your request by comparing the marks to the list of utilities the 8-1-1 call center notified.
4. Respect. Respect the markers provided by the affected utilities. The markers are your guide for the duration of your project.
5. Dig carefully. If you can’t avoid digging near the markers (within 18-24 inches on all sides), consider moving your project location.
Planting the right tree in the right place
Planting trees in your yard have many benefits. They not only provide beauty, privacy, and habitat for wildlife, they also can help homes become more energy efficient by keeping buildings cooler in their shade and reducing wind and temperature fluctuations. However, trees must be planted in the right place.
When trees grow and extend into power lines, they can cause power outages and safety hazards for you and your neighbors. Prevent these problems by planting the “right tree in the right place,” and you won’t have to worry about us trimming or removing your trees once they grow.
You should also take into consideration the spacing of trees from your home and outbuildings and think of the tree’s purpose. Is it beauty, protection, or both? Keep this spacing in mind when planting near a building: