BALTIMORE (March 28, 2022) – Gov. Hogan recently proclaimed April as Safe Digging Month to serve as a reminder for homeowners and contractors to practice safe digging. In observance of the nationally recognized initiative, Miss Utility/District One Call – the one-call notification center for Western Shore Maryland and Washington, D.C. – today announced results from a recent national survey which revealed that of the 71 million U.S. homeowners who plan to dig this year for projects like building a fence, landscaping and installing a mailbox, nearly half (49%) will put themselves and their communities at risk by digging without contacting 811 to learn the approximate location of underground utilities.

The survey, which was conducted by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) – the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities – also discovered that almost six in ten U.S. homeowners (58%) reported experiencing a utility service interruption in the past 12 months. Neglecting to contact 811 before digging can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions, and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged. Utilizing this free service can help maintain essential utility services and keep communities safe, by reducing the likelihood of accidentally digging into buried utility lines.

“Many Marylanders are planning to put a shovel to the ground this spring and it is crucial that they contact Miss Utility/District One Call prior to starting their home improvement projects,” said Scott Brown, Washington Gas Damage Prevention and chair of the Miss Utility board of directors. “Even if it’s just planting a tree or building a deck, calling 811 or visiting www.MissUtility.net to have buried utilities marked before digging will help keep communities safe and connected to the critical utility services we all rely on every day.”

As part of National Safe Digging Month, Miss Utility/District One Call encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project this spring:

  • Always contact Miss Utility/District One Call a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Call 811 or visit www.MissUtility.net 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 Miss Utility/District One Call. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.
  • Visit www.MissUtility.net for complete info.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...

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