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Pacific Power Urges You Call Before Digging
Every eight minutes, someone risks their life by striking an underground utility line. Customers of Pacific Power are urged to protect themselves by dialing 8-1-1 two days before doing any digging.
“Installing a mail box or post for a deck or planting a tree are among the projects that should trigger a call to 8-1-1,” said Gene Morris, Pacific Power’s director of health, safety and environment, referring to the national toll-free ‘Call Before You Dig’ phone number. “Those may seem like simple, harmless maintenance projects, but the hazards are very real. If you hit a buried electric line, you could die. It’s that simple.”
PacifiCorp has approximately 20,000 miles of underground cable in the West. There are nearly 20 million miles of underground utility lines in the United States. These buried lines, including gas, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, provide the services Americans depend on for their basic everyday needs. But if you don’t know where they are buried before you dig, you are in danger. Even if you are lucky enough to not be harmed, you could be responsible for causing a service outage in your neighborhood–and potentially be responsible for the substantial repair costs.
If you are planning a job that requires digging, even if hiring a professional, a call to 8-1-1 is required before work begins. The 8-1-1 service is free. It’s a Federal Communications Commission-designated national one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the appropriate local one-call center. The one-call center then alerts local underground facility owners so they can mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.