For Release: 08/11/2011
Rosemont, MN - Minnesota Energy Resources Corporation (MERC) reminds residents and contractors on August 11, or 08/11, to call 8-1-1 BEFORE any projects that require digging. Calling the "8-1-1 Diggers Hotline" should be the homeowner's first step before planting trees, shrubs and flowers or working on any digging projects in the yard. This also includes digging postholes for a deck or simply installing a roadside mailbox. The 8-1-1 Diggers Hotline network is a coordinated nationwide underground utility location system that is set up for everyone's safety.
MERC has over 4,500 miles of underground natural gas pipeline and over 211,000 natural gas lateral services in the 165 communities it serves.
MERC records indicate a very high percentage of accidental dig-ins resulting from people not calling "8-1-1" before they dig. Most customers are aware of the "8-1-1" system, but do not think it applies unless they are using some larger power digging equipment. The unfortunate result may be serious injuries and disruption of utility service to entire neighborhoods.
To request a locate you can either call 811 or log on to www.gopherstateonecall.org. Customers will be asked a few questions about their location and project. Specialists using sophisticated equipment will respond to the site and mark the location of all buried facilities (natural gas, electric, cable, telecommunications) on your property within a few working days.