City of Mesa supports National Safe Digging Month
By: James McIntyre
04/20/12 8:32 AM
April is National Safe Digging Month and Mesa’s Energy Resources Department supports the nationwide effort by hosting a damage prevention seminar for contractors and the public on April 30, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Mesa Utilities Building Community Room, 640 N. Mesa Drive.
In addition, Mesa will host two future opportunities to attend a damage prevention training seminar on July 26, 2012 at 7 a.m. and July 27, 2012 at 6 p.m. Both of these events will be held at the Windemere Hotel, 5750 E. Main Street, Mesa. All three seminars will include a complimentary meal as part of the registration. Registration for each class is available at www.azbluestake.com.
The safe digging awareness month was established to remind the community that a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables exists just below ground. Striking an underground utility line while digging can be harmful, disrupt service and potentially result in fines and repair costs.
“In the U.S., a utility line is damaged by digging every three minutes. One-third of these incidents are caused by professional excavators or homeowners failing to call 811 before starting their digging projects,” Energy Resources Department Deputy Director Michael Comstock said. “Before digging, everyone, not just contractors, needs to know what’s below ground and take steps to prevent incidents. For any project that involves digging, call 811. It’s a free service and it’s the law.”
Comstock encourages everyone to call 811 at least two working days before starting a digging or excavation project so that underground utilities can be located and marked. When calling 811, homeowners and professional excavators are connected to Arizona Blue Stake, which notifies the appropriate utility of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin around the marked lines. Customer-owned lines can be detected by hiring a private locator company to mark the lines.
For more information about safe digging, visit mesaaz.gov/energy or visit azbluestake.com.
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