Spring has arrived, and due to the statewide "Stay at Home" order, you find yourself with extra time to begin your various gardening and home repair projects.
Before you begin, determine if any of these projects will include digging. If you're planting a new tree, shrub, or garden, or if you plan to tackle building that new deck or fence, you need to call before you dig!
Why? Whenever you're digging below ground, there is the potential to hit a utility line, which could result in injury to you and potential property damage. To eliminate this possibility, contact the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (O.U.P.S) to ensure your project is completed safely and does not interrupt any services.
As a homeowner, it is essential to call O.U.P.S. at 8-1-1 or 1-800-362-2764. Not only is it best practice for your safety, but it is a requirement under Ohio law. O.U.P.S. reporting is also available online by completing an e-dig request form, found here. Calls and online notification should happen within two to ten business days before the start of your project.
O.U.P.S. will help you determine the exact location of utility lines and/or the underground structure surrounding your home.
What if you don't make the call?
By not calling you will risk costly property or environmental damage, explosion or fire on your property, utility service interruptions, legal issues, injury, and possibly death.
How can you decipher between all of the different utility lines? Underground utility lines are color-coded:
Red – Electric power lines, cables, conduit, and lighting cables
Yellow – Gas, oil, steam, petroleum or gaseous materials
Orange – Communication, alarm or signal lines, cables or conduit
Blue – Potable water
Purple – Reclaimed water, irrigation and slurry lines
Green – Sewers and drain lines
Pink – Temporary survey markings
White – Proposed excavating
What if you hit a line? For your protection, stop working and evacuate the area immediately.
Never try to repair any leaks or damages on your own, also don't use your cell phone or anything else that could cause a spark. If you feel the problem is urgent, such as a gas line leak, then contact 9-1-1 immediately. You should also contact the utility company as well as O.U.P.S.