Iowans-Call BEFORE You Dig Or Face Potentially Huge Fines
Springtime in Iowa means it's time to bust out the shovels, post-hole diggers, rototillers, and even giant excavators and start playing in the dirt! That includes everything from planting flowers and bushes in and around our yards to maybe fixing that mailbox post that the snowplow hit this past winter. Of course, Iowans love getting the soil ready for their backyard gardens, or maybe you've got a big project this spring, like digging out an egress window?
No matter what take Iowa One Call's words to heart, "Always Know, What's Below". If you fail to notify Iowa One Call prior to digging, you could risk injury and some rather hefty fines. We're talkin' civil penalties from the Iowa Attorney General that range from as much as $10,000 for each violation, for each day the violation continues, up to a maximum of $500,000.
So, yes, it makes "spur of the moment" weekend projects nearly impossible. If you've been thinking of a new space for your garden, call ahead before you start up the roto-tiller. I realize all the little flags and spray paint all over your yard can be unsightly, but it's a small price to pay now, so you don't have to pay a big price later.
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds made it official by signing a state proclamation declaring the month of April to be Safe Digging Month in Iowa, in conjunction with National Safe Digging Month. Besides, you don't want to be that guy (or gal) that cuts in half your neighbor's cable TV/internet wire do you? Or worse yet, hit critical underground gas or electric lines and mess up the entire neighborhood along with bringing potential harm to yourself, do you?
Iowa One Call is a FREE service and available 24 hours a day, just call "811" or 800-292-8989. Make sure to do it a minimum of two days (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays) before you dig. Submitting and managing tickets online is actually quicker and easier. Submit your ticket information at Iowa One Call.com. After you've submitted your ticket, you can come back and search to view its status.
Keep in mind, Iowa One Call is just the notification system, they do NOT handle the locating and marking process, that is the job of the underground facility operators.
Here's a fun fact to wrap things up with...Iowa One Call representatives handle more than 700,000 notices and coordinate more than 3.5 million locate requests annually. Enjoy spring and dig safely.