This was originally sent out as our April 2022 Newsletter
April 1st marks the beginning of National Safe Digging Month (NDSM)! And to kick-off the excavation season, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) released results from a recent national survey … with some alarming feedback:
- nearly six-in-ten U.S. homeowners (58%) reported experiencing a utility service interruption during the last 12 months
- 49% of U.S. homeowners who plan to dig this year will put themselves and their communities at risk by digging without contacting 811 beforehand to learn the approximate location of underground utilities
Reducing Damages in Residential Areas
While the potential risks of failing to call 811 before excavating are obvious to us who work in our industry, clearly the message isn’t reaching enough homeowners. It is imperative facility operators do everything within their power to mitigate risk to their assets in residential areas.
1) Communication with Homeowners
Many property owners are simply oblivious to the existence and prevalence of underground utilities. Facility owners must take steps to effectively communicate with homeowners about the presence of underground infrastructure on their property, and emphasize the shared responsibility of preventing damage to them.
2) Right Tool for the Right Situation
Homeowners can be vain when it comes to their property and are resistant to having a large, colorful marker post in their yard. There are several other tools and tactics that can be deployed to keep homeowners happy.
3) Get the Word Out!
Utilize some of these great media materials from the CGA’s National Safe Digging Month Toolkit to help spread awareness.