SANTA FE — The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) designated April as “Safe Digging Month” to bring awareness to safe digging and excavation throughout the State of New Mexico.
Many homeowners planning digging projects for spring and summer put themselves and their neighbors’ utilities at risk by not contacting 811 a few days before digging.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.
Making a free request to 811 online or over the phone a few days before digging will help homeowners and excavators maintain essential utility service for themselves and neighbors and keep communities safe, by reducing the likelihood of accidentally digging into buried utility lines.
As part of National Safe Digging Month, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:
- Always contact 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
- Plan ahead and make a free 811 request. For example, call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
- Confirm that all lines have been marked.
- Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
- If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has contacted 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
- Visit https://www.nm811.org/ for complete information.
Everyone who contacts 811 a few days before digging is connected with professional utility locators who visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging at least 18-inches away.
Remember “Safe Digging Month” and call 811 before you dig!
About the PRC:
The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission regulates the utilities, telecommunications, and motor carrier industries to ensure fair and reasonable rates, and to assure reasonable and adequate services to the public as provided by law. The NMPRC also promotes public safety through the offices of Pipeline Safety Bureau and the Transportation Division.