April is Safe Digging Month – Call JULIE

April is Safe Digging Month – Call JULIE

Every three minutes, an underground utility line is hit because of failure to call 8-1-1 before digging nationwide. Before putting a shovel in the ground this spring, JULIE, Inc. (JULIE) reminds do-it-yourselfers in Illinois to call 8-1-1 before starting any type of landscape and home improvement projects. To support this initiative, Gov. Pat Quinn signed a proclamation observing the month of April as Safe Digging Month.

“Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can cause serious injuries,service disruptions and repair costs if a line is damaged. Even simple landscaping projects like planting a tree or shrub to more complex projects like installing a deck or fence require a call to JULIE because you never know what’s buried below the ground,” said Kevin Chmura, director of public relations for JULIE, Inc. “Illinois state law requires all homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 prior to digging, regardless of the size or depth of the project. This is a free service, so there is no reason to take a chance or make an assumption about the location of these critical underground utility lines.”

JULIE’s call center agents are available to receive and process locate requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week at either 8-1-1 or 800-892-0123. Another popular option for homeowners to submit a request is via E-Request, a free online entry program offered by JULIE through its Web site, www.illinois1call.com.

“We appreciate Governor Quinn’s proclamation regarding National Safe Digging Month and his ongoing commitment to increase awareness of safe digging practices across Illinois,” Chmura continued. Here’s how the process works. To ensure that underground utility lines in the work area are marked, call 8-1-1 or visit illinois1call.com to submit a locate request to JULIE at least two working days before digging. JULIE will arrange for its member utility operators to have the underground lines at the project site marked with spray paint or flags by professional locators, free of charge, so that homeowners can dig safely. JULIE neither owns nor marks any underground lines.

Based in Joliet, the not-for-profit organization represents 1,780 members. For a copy of JULIE’s Homeowner’s Guide, an explanation of the color-code markings and more information, visit www.illinois1call.com.