For Release: 08/08/2013
Rosemount, MN - Minnesota Energy Resources reminds everyone on August 11, or 8/11, to call 8-1-1 BEFORE attempting any projects that require digging. Calling the "8-1-1 Gopher State One Call" should be the homeowner and contractor's first step before putting a shovel in the ground to plant trees and shrubs or working on any digging projects in the yard. This also includes simply installing a roadside mailbox or digging postholes for a deck.
Knowing where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect those who dig from injury, expense and penalties and ensures the reliability of the system.
The 8-1-1 Gopher State One Call network is part of a coordinated nationwide underground utility location system that is set up for everyone's safety.
Minnesota Energy Resources has nearly 4,500 miles of underground natural gas pipelines and over 211,000 natural gas lateral services in the 165 communities it serves. Last year, Minnesota Energy Resources experienced about 127 accidental dig-ins on its natural gas system, causing damage.
Minnesota Energy Resources records indicate a very high percentage of accidental dig-ins result 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, either call the 8-1-1 Gopher State One Call by simply dialing 811or log onto the 8-1-1 website. 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.
For more information on gas safety, visit the Minnesota Energy Resources website.