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 that helps prevent unnecessary and often costly damage to underground cables and utility lines.
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
Submit an E-Request to avoid possible hold times or call 811. E-Request is a free, online option for homeowners via www.illinois1call.com. But first, have the following information handy to speed up the process.
- Contact name, email and phone number
- Property address including county, city or township
- Type and location of digging project
- Special instructions about the property or project
- Earliest date and time the project will start
State law requires you to notify JULIE at least two but not more than 14 business days before any digging project regardless of the project size or depth. Even if you are digging in the same area as a previous project, notify JULIE first. Weekends and holidays are not included in determining the two working days advance notice required by law. View a list of holidays here.
What to expect when calling JULIE:
When calling JULIE 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to the Illinois One-Call System that notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both so that homeowners and contractors know where they can dig safely.
For more information, visit the JULIE website.