April marks National Safe Digging Month across the United States, reminding homeowners and professional excavators in Illinois to contact JULIE, Inc. (JULIE) at 8-1-1 before every digging project this spring, regardless of the size or depth.
Putting up a fence, installing a mailbox post, building a deck or patio and planting trees and shrubs are all common examples of digging projects that require a call to JULIE first. This is a free call and service. “Protect yourself and your family. Striking a single buried utility line can cause injury, repair costs, penalties and inconvenient outages,” said Kevin Chmura, director of public relations for JULIE, Inc. “Every project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to JULIE.”
5 Steps to Safer Digging
There are five important steps to safer digging this spring:
- Pre-mark the dig site with white paint or flags.
- Call JULIE at 8-1-1 or go online (illinois1call.com) to submit your own locate request before you dig.
- Wait the required amount of time (two business days).
- Respect the marks.
- Dig with care.
How and When to Contact JULIE
Earth Day and Arbor Day are great opportunities this month to give back to the environment by planting a tree or doing other outdoor beautification projects, but it’s imperative to notify JULIE at least two business days before you start. JULIE’s call center agents are available to receive and process requests 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 8-1-1.
E-Request is a free, online option for homeowners via www.illinois1call.com. Based in Joliet, the not-for-profit organization represents 1,930 members and covers Illinois, outside the city of Chicago. For an explanation of the color-code markings and information about the one-call process, visit www.illinois1call.com.
What to expect when calling JULIE:
- When homeowners and professional excavators call 8-1-1, they will speak with a JULIE call center agent who will take the location and description of the project site and notify affected member facility owners and operators.
- These members will then send a professional locator to mark the approximate location of their underground utility lines with small flags or paint at no cost. JULIE personnel do not perform locating or marking services.