If you are planning to build a new fence or deck, plant a tree or do some new landscaping in your yard this summer, you need to remember to "call before you dig."
Call before you dig is a provincial campaign that reminds homeowners to locate the utility lines that may be running under their back yards. Some utilities are buried just a few centimeters below the surface, and the financial cost of repairing any damage you cause to a buried utility is yours. So, it is well worth your time to figure out what the hazards are before you start. Every year, homeowners across Canada damage buried utility lines on their property which can lead to a loss in essential services for an entire neighborhood, costly repairs, injuries, and even fatalities.
The good news is that it is really easy to find out if you are at risk. You just need to call 1-800-242-3447 or visit AlbertaOneCall.com. Simple, right?
Once you have made contact with Alberta One Call, there are a few steps that you will need to go through:
- Submit Your Locate Request. You should submit your request (either online or by phone) at least two working days and no longer than 2 weeks before your planned dig. Then you can mark the area you plan to dig with stakes, flags or white paint.
- Then you will be contacted by utility owners to determine a time for inspection. You do not need to be home for this. The utility owner will visit your home, inspect the parking area and provide instructions on how to safely dig in this location. They will leave "locate documentation" that must be on site when you are digging.
- You should also consider if any of the consumer-owned utilities for the house have been identified. This could include things like a privately installed power line from your house to the garage, sprinkler systems, sewage lines, and other gas, power, water, phone and cable lines that are privately installed. It is your responsibility to identify customer-owned lines.
- Once these steps are done, you can mark the utilities in the yard and following the instructions provided.
Building new items in the backyard is always fun, but make sure you plan ahead, locate hazards and stay safe.