Digging Myths

In March of 2016, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) unveiled a new
video designed to help promote safe digging in the agricultural community.
A portion of the video dispels five common myths about safe digging.

Myth Number 1: Farmers and ranchers are exempt from calling 811 for
normal farming practices in some states. The definition of “normal farming
practices” can be interpreted in many ways and varies between states. So,
calling 811 before any digging project is always the safe thing to do! Some
agricultural examples of when to call 811 include drain tile installation
projects, chisel plowing, subsoiling, deep ripping, building a waterway,
digging fence posts and drilling water or irrigation wells, to name a few.

Myth Number 2: Believing that I know, or remember where underground
utilities are located on my property, especially if I have called 811
in the past, so I can assume that I don’t need to call again. The depth of
pipelines and other utilities can change over time due to natural forces
such as erosion or other dirt moving activities. Or perhaps new facilities
were installed since the last time you called 811. Please don’t make a risky
assumption. You don’t want to be the neighbor in your community who
knocks out the internet, cable, or other vital services such as 911.

Myth Number 3: I’m not digging very deep and I don’t want to bother
anyone for such a small project. You’re not bothering anyone by calling 811.
The One Call Center will notify the proper utility companies so they can
have an employee or representative come out and locate the approximate
location of the utilities before you dig. Besides, it is better to be safe than
sorry even for a small project.

Myth Number 4: Calling 811 will cost me time and money. Plus, with
the weather the way it is, I need to get started right away. Calling 811 is
FREE to you. The cost is paid by utility companies to protect you, and calling
811 is fast! After you call, professional locators will be sent to the site
within two or three business days. Also, calling in advance while you are
planning your project will help save you time.

Myth Number 5: If I hit a pipeline or other utility and nothing happens,
there’s nothing to worry about. Even if it appears the utility isn’t
damaged, always call and notify the utility company. Even a small dent,
scrape, gouge or scratch in a pipeline or other apparently minor damages
could cause a major problem in the future.

These five myths are just a few of the many reasons heard for not
calling 811.

The fact is, underneath much of America’s farmland lies buried pipelines
and utilities. These utilities may carry natural gas or oil, electricity, communication
lines or water. Any one of these utilities struck during a farming
operation can cause dangerous consequences for you, your family,
tenants, hired hands, your neighbors or your community and the environment,
possibly impacting your farm for years.

Make the free call to 811 to get your underground utilities marked every
time before you dig.

The complete video can be downloaded for free from the CGA website,
www.CommonGroundAlliance.com.

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