Call before you shovel this National Safe Digging Month

RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - The spring season may get you in the mood to upgrade your property, but be careful to not dig too far down without doing your research.

April is National Safe Digging Month for South Dakota. It's a reminder for homeowners to call before you dig and to be cautious about puncturing a hazardous utility line underground.

Whether a homeowner wants to install a fence or plant a tree, it's important to call 811 ahead of time to have the property surveyed.

Utility representatives will scan the area, free of charge, and mark where utility lines are with colorful flags and dashes on the ground.
Red and orange flags mark the locations of power and gas lines.

If a utility line is punctured, not only are homeowners and neighbors in danger, utility employees and contractors are too.

"Our lineman that work in the field each and every day rely on locates to ensure their safety. We also don't want to have expensive repairs to repair those lines," Black Hills Energy Operations Manager Mike Pogany said.

Pogany advises calling 811 two days before starting a dig.