Call Before You Dig

04/30/2015 4:13 PM

With the month of April being known as “National Safe Digging Month” and warmer weather on the way, it is time for a reminder to call before you dig. Many homes and businesses are probably thinking about some improvements that could include digging in the yard for a number of reasons ranging from construction projects to gardening.

Some types of projects you may have planned that need a call before you dig include:
• Planting trees/shrubs
• Installing a fence
• Building a patio, addition, deck, garage, outdoor shed
• New driveway
• Installing a septic system or water drainage system
• Terracing or landscaping

Iowa One Call has made it easy with their 8-1-1 number or you can simply dial 1-800-292-8989. These numbers are answered 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can also file a ticket online at Remember to plan ahead as the request for locates need to be called in 48 hours ahead of time during normal business hours from 7am to 5pm Monday-Friday. To prepare for the locates, it is extremely helpful for any proposed excavation site to be outlined in white paint or white flags to reduce any confusion as to where the proposed excavation will occur. SMU has some white flags available to customers (limit 10 per customer). Stop by the customer service center to pick some up to assist with planning locates.

After the locates are made, you’ll notice different colored flags and painting in the locate area.
These are according to the American Public Works Association Utility Location & Coordination
Council Uniform Color Code.
• Red-Electric Power Lines, Cables, Conduit and Lighting Cables
• Yellow-Gas, Oil, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials
• Orange-Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines, Cable or Conduit
• Blue-Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines
• Green-Sewers and Drain Lines
• Pink-Temporary Survey Markings
• White-Proposed Excavation
• Purple-Reclaimed Water

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