Media Contact:  Ron Law, 208-334-0330,       


For Immediate Release


Gov. OTTER Proclaims april as Idaho safe digging month


The Idaho Public Utilities Commission, Idaho utilities remind local residents to call 811 before all digging projects


Boise, ID (March 22, 2012) — Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter has issued a proclamation announcing April as Idaho Safe Digging Month. The proclamation reminds Idaho homeowners to call 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.

April marks the start of spring digging season. Utility companies, the Public Utilities Commission and Gov. Otter are encouraging homeowners to call 811 before they dig to prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. Digging damages a utility line once every three minutes nationwide.  One-third of these incidents are caused by the failure to call 811 before beginning a digging project.

When calling 811, homeowners are connected to Password (Benewah, Bonner, Boundary, Kootenai and Shoshone counties) or Digline (all other counties), which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin around marked lines. The call is toll-free and the locating is done at no charge to the homeowner.

“We join the governor in strongly encouraging individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said Ron Law, of the Idaho Damage Prevention Coalition. “By having underground lines marked, homeowners are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”

“It’s a free call and it’s a free service for excavators that can certainly prevent major problems for the homeowner and others,” said Paul Kjellander, president of the Idaho Public Utilities Commission.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, necessitates a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

Visit for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.


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