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Iowa Utilities Board reminds Iowans to Call 811, protect utility lines

DES MOINES – In support of April as National Safe Digging Month, Iowa Utilities Board joins Common Ground Iowa and Iowa One Call, in reminding Iowa communities to be safe, help protect underground utility lines and always call 811 in advance of any digging projects.

Governor Kim Reynolds has also signed a proclamation in support of safe digging practices in Iowa and proclaiming April as National Safe Digging Month.

Calling 811 is toll-free, can save lives, prevent accidents to underground utility infrastructure, and to avoid injuries, costly repairs and fines.

Iowa law, Iowa Code chapter 480, “Underground Facilities Information,” requires that a resident or professional excavator must contact Iowa One Call at 811 or 1-800-292-8989 a minimum of two days before digging begins to mark the location of all utility lines. Iowa One Call’s  center is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The following will occur once Iowa One Call is contacted:

• Operators with underground utility facilities in the area where the excavation is planned are notified. This includes natural gas and electric power utilities, communications companies, water lines and cities and towns.

• Within 48 hours after being contacted, utilities either mark their underground facilities with color-coded paint marks or flags, or tell the excavator they have no lines in the area.

If a contractor is performing the excavation work, a person should make sure that the contractor calls Iowa One Call two days prior to the commencement of excavating.

Common Ground Iowa is a regional partner of the national Common Ground Alliance, an association dedicated to ensuring public safety, environmental protection and integrity of utility services by promoting effective damage protection practices.

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