Be Safe: Call Digsafe
(Wakefield, MA) – As the weather gets warmer, homeowners and property managers turn their attention to outdoor projects. It’s the perfect time to build a deck or patio, install a swimming pool, put in a new mailbox, or plant trees and shrubs around the property.
But before you dig, Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department General Manager Pete Dion reminds you to call Dig Safe, a communication network that helps excavators, contractors and property owners comply with a state law that requires that member utilities are notified of proposed excavation projects. This free service notifies utility companies like the WMGLD about your project so that you will know if any utility lines are buried where you want to dig.
“Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility,” the General Manager said. “Digging can be dangerous if you don’t know where underground facilities (utilities) are located. No project should be considered too small to report; in fact, state law requires digging by hand when working within 18” of a marked underground facility.”
Dig Safe is funded entirely by the member utility companies, including the WMGLD. All Massachusetts gas, electric, telephone, cable television, and water companies are required to participate.
The process begins when the caller notifies Dig Safe about the project at 1-888-DIG-SAFE (1-888- 344-7233). Advance notice of at least 72 hours, or three business days, must be given. After providing the information, the caller is given a permit number as proof of notification. The caller or their contractor should then pre-mark the area with flags, white paint or stakes to identify the boundaries of the project.
After the call is made to Dig Safe, the call center electronically sends the information to member utilities that own or maintain buried facilities in the excavation area. Dig Safe processes all requests on business days, Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., not including holidays. Off-hour coverage is provided for emergency work only.
Member utilities, or their contracted private locators, go to the site and use paint, stakes or flags to identify the location of buried facilities. Color-coding is used to identify the type of underground facilities.
Once the facilities are marked, digging can begin.
Dig Safe permits can also be processed online at www.digsafe.com using the Quick-Ticket system. This system is recommended for contractors and others who are familiar with the Dig Safe System. First-time Dig Safe users should use the phone system. Callers can also dial 811 on their cell phone to reach Dig Safe.
Additional information about Dig Safe® can be obtained on the WMGLD website, www.wmgld.com, or on the Dig Safe website at www.digsafe.com. Information can also be obtained by calling Dig Safe at 1-888-DIG-SAFE (1-888- 344-7233).