Public Service Commission Chairman Robert Clayton says Missourians need to remember to call 1-800-DIG-RITE before digging in the yard for that household project. “Otherwise, they risk cutting into a gas line, a telephone line, perhaps an electric service line,” according to Clayton. “And when that happens, there’s a big chance of danger, there’s also a likely chance of inconvenience. Maybe you’ll cut a cable line or a telephone line. So, we’re trying to get the word out that people need to call. It’s free. They’ll come out and mark the lines and then you can avoid those places underground where there are utility lines.”
A national line has also been established. It’s 8-1-1.
Clayton says the call is quick and easy. “Basically, you call up the line. They will ask for an address. You say, ‘I need the utility lines marked, because I’m going to be digging underground.’ And within a week, you’ll have several people coming out. They’ll mark each of the lines with different colors of paint that will go away after it rains,” Clayton explains. “Then you can dig safely in your yard and plant your shrubs or put in a fence or whatever you need to do.”
Missouri law requires a homeowner to notify utilities about any excavation project. Many utility lines, including natural gas pipelines, are buried underground.