St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

April is National Safe Digging Month

April is National Safe Digging Month

Monday, April 22, 2013

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – April is National Safe Digging month, so residents and employees who excavate or dig are reminded to call 8-1-1 at least 72 hours before digging.  The 8-1-1 number is the state one call center responsible for identifying and marking the approximate location of utility lines to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient utility outages.

Steps for Safe Digging:

  • Call 811 at least two full business days before excavation is scheduled to begin. Provide the operator with the digging location, type and extent of work, and digging start date and time.
  • Outline the digging area with white paint or flags and wait the required number of days.
  • The One Call Center will notify the appropriate utility companies. Trained technicians will mark the location of underground facilities with colored flags, stakes or paint at no cost.
  • Do not remove the flags, stakes or paint until you have finished digging.
  • Once your property is marked, dig with care. Regardless of depth, always hand dig within 18-24 inches on either side of a marked utility line.

Pipeline leaks or explosions can create huge consequences for the community.  If you notice the distinctive “rotten egg” smell of odorized natural gas and suspect a pipeline leak, walk away from the suspected leak and telephone 911 from another location. “Our goal is to create awareness of the importance of calling before digging in an effort to keep our residents safe,” said Parish President Natalie Robottom. “Safe digging should be practiced not just in the month of April but throughout the year.”

For more tips on pipeline safety, please visit   

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