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April is Safe Digging Month

April is national Safe Digging Month and NIPSCO along with Indiana 811 are at work to educate the public on what to do when people start digging.

Since Spring is the ideal time to plant trees and begin new outdoor projects, they want to make sure residents stay safe according to NIPSCO External Communications Specialist Denise Rodriguez.

“The main goal of 811 is to ensure safety. We don't want anyone to hit any underground utilities because it could cause harm not only to you, but to others,” said Rodriguez.

Indiana 811 is a free service that can be used 24/7 by residents.

“Call 811 when you have any outdoor digging project and they will send professional locators out to mark with little flags, the location of any underground utility," Rodriguez. added.

Indiana 811 is also taking their "call before you dig" campaign to young ones in the community.

NIPSCO representatives came out to Woodrow Wilson Primary School on Wednesday to teach about 400 students the importance of planting trees and planting them in the right places.

“I learned that before you dig a tree, you have to call 811, and if you don't and you dig somewhere you could cut a power line and something could happen,” said 4th grader Christopher Krause.

They hope by starting early and teaching the younger generation, they will go home and share that information with their parents said Angie Nelson Deuitch with NIPSCO Public Affairs.

“Our goal is to put a light on educating the public. The good thing about our children is once we educate them they take it home to their parents,” said Deuitch.

Five trees were planted at the school and before any digging began, lines were marked and flags were put in place representing where not to dig.

“If you hit a water line it could flood, or if you hit like a red or yellow wire, it could shock you, or it could explode,” said Krause.

“The utilities will all come out and mark their lines so that you don't hit one, it's a safety measure for sure,” Deuitch added.

If you plan to start a new outdoor project, IN 811 asks that you call at least two days in advance so utility companies can come out and mark the area. If you don't call and hit a utility line or damage property, there are different types of fines in place.

The number to call for this service is 800-382-5544.
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