NIPSCO says ‘Be safe… know before you dig’

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In observance of National Safe Digging Month in April, NIPSCO today shared results from a recent national survey of 1,000 U.S. homeowners revealing that more than half (51 percent) plan to complete an outdoor do-it-yourself project that involves digging in the next year. However, over half (56 percent) of those planning projects do not intend to notify 811 ahead of time, putting themselves and their communities at risk.
Thousands of buried utilities are damaged each year due to digging activities. Safe Digging Month reminds homeowners
and contractors that digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious
injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs when natural gas, electric, communications, water and
sewer lines are damaged.
Making a free locate request online at or by calling 811 at least two full working days before digging will
help maintain essential utility service while keeping excavators and their communities safe by reducing the likelihood of
accidentally digging into buried lines.
“It takes just a few minutes to submit a locate request by phone or online,” said NIPSCO president Vince Parisi. “Those
few minutes can make a big difference when it comes to safety. There’s just no reason to take a chance on hitting a
utility line that could result in injuries, service disruptions, repair costs and fines.”
After an initial contact with 811, professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with
flags, spray paint or both. Each color of paint and/or flag represents a unique type of underground utility. The flags
may be removed once the project is completed. To learn more information or to see the utility color code guide visit
Damaging an underground utility line can cause inconvenient outages, costly repairs, injuries, and fines.
Regardless of whether you’re installing a mailbox, planting trees or performing any other outdoor digging project,
NIPSCO encourages you to take the following steps:
● Always call 811 or submit an online request at at least two full working days before digging,
regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
● Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for
the approximate location of lines to be marked.
● Confirm that all lines have been marked once two full working days have passed. To view the status of locate
requests, visit the Indiana 811 Ticket Search & Status site.
● Once lines are marked, only hand dig within 24” on either side of the width of the utility line.
● Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
● If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has contacted 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the
lines aren’t marked.
● Visit for additional information and to view Indiana’s Dig Law.