Lake County

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Purdue Extension: Expert Resources for COVID-19

Call Before You Dig or Till!

April 28, 2016

Spring has sprung, even though it's started slowly this year. People are moving on with the growing season and renovation/construction of homes and businesses. However, do you know what's below your feet? We can all see the power lines above our heads and fire hydrants or phone boxes standing in places, but what about the underground wires and pipes? Every year there are instances where these lines are struck that can either make you go without an utility for a time or you can be seriously injured if you hit the wrong pipe like a gas line. It's a simple process to call 811 to have your lines marked to prevent a problem. Not easy enough? Then go online to and fill it out!

You may be thinking: I know my property inside and out. I don't need to do this. A true, personal story. I was helping my mom at her house. She's lived there 30 years! We were trenching for her pool that broke and needed replacing. All the sudden she started yelling at me and I had no clue why. It turns out she saw that we both forgot that her phone line cut through the middle of her pool and we cut the line. Good thing she wasn't using the phone line anymore as repairs can sometimes be pricey. 

You may be a contractor: I've dug deep enough, the line's deep enough it doesn't matter. Again at my parent's house YEARS ago. A contractor assumed they were fine and brought in a trencher to finish a job. Within 5 minutes they were massively regretful as a few inches deeper was the main trunk line for the phone system in a neighborhood. That was not a pretty site, unless you like seeing lots of little colorful wires everywhere, and I'm sure a very costly repair as it was a muddy mess. 

You may be a farmer in the fields or someone looking to build a new building: keep in mind that most times we think about the smaller lines of electric and water. However, there are larger gas lines that can also be in a area the deep plowing, tilling, or hole drilling can cause major problems. Vector Pipelines do run through parts of Lake County and cause serious damage and injuries if disturbed. 

So remember, call 811 before you dig or get more information at or before you dig!

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