NewsMontana and Regional News


'Call before you dig' - why it is important

It’s important to have your utility lines marked by the utility company to avoid damage.
Posted at 9:43 PM, Apr 08, 2024

April is Safe Digging Month, and before getting started on your spring excavating and landscaping projects, it’s important to have your utility lines marked by the utility company to avoid damage. This includes before any type of digging like putting in fence posts, grating, and trees.

When it comes to submitting a locate request, Energy West General Manager Tyler Muzzana says the biggest part is planning ahead.

He explained, “Calling 811, making sure you're digging safely and digging around those utilities to locate them before you start using heavy equipment. And obviously with our gas lines, it's our service to go out and locate those so you know where they are."

Submitting a request at least three days prior to when you plan to begin digging allows the utilities time to properly mark the area.

Calling 811, or going to the Montana811 website, will allow you to submit a locate request. Every time you dig, you should submit a new locate request, in case previous markings are outdated.

Muzzana also states that this includes submitting your own locate request and not using a neighbor’s. This helps to protect you and your property.

If you do hit a gas line, it is important to get to a safe location before calling 911 and the gas company.

“We have plastic lines in the ground with plastic lines,” Muzzana says. “There's tracer wire, steel lines, there's coating - even if you expose a gas line and maybe there's a nick to a coating or damage to the tracer wire or something, even if you’re just not sure, again, as part of our service, give us a call. We want to come out and make sure that everything's repaired and safe before you go ahead and backfill your project."

For more information on safe digging, click here.