Not only is April Earth Month, it’s also National Safe Digging Month. Pepco is joining District One Call — the one-call notification center for the District of Columbia and Maryland — to remind residents, businesses and contractors that safe digging prevents damage to critical underground energy services and helps keep communities safe.

During our current health crisis, we’re spending more time than ever at home. If you’re planning to use this time to take on a new spring DIY project that involves digging — like planting a new flowerbed or trees, building a new walkway or deck, or replacing your mailbox — you must call 811 a few days before beginning to learn the approximate location of underground utility equipment.

Getting started is easy. Here are a few simple steps to follow if you’re planning a digging project this spring:

• Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or your familiarity with the property.
• Professional tip: call on a Monday or Tuesday for work that’s planned for an upcoming weekend. Providing enough time for lines to be marked will help your project go smoothly.
• Professional locators will visit your dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags, or both.
• Confirm that all lines have been marked. If a contractor has been hired, also confirm they called 811. You should never allow work to begin if lines aren’t marked.
• Once your site has been marked, it’s safe to begin digging around the marked areas. If your project is near utility line markings, consider moving the location of your project.

To learn more, visit

We always want you to be safe, so be sure to call 811 to know what’s below before your next digging project.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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