As Spring arrives, Avista is reminding customers to call 811 before starting any outdoor projects that involve digging. Whether you’re a contractor or a do-it-yourself homeowner, it’s important to remember that pipes and power lines can be buried dangerously close to the surface, and one dig with a shovel or backhoe could strike a natural gas or electric line. It’s not only the smart and safe thing to do to call 811 at least two working days before you plan to dig, it’s the law.
National Safe Digging Month, celebrated each April, is dedicated to increasing awareness of safe digging practices and reminding people to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number. It is important to call 811 at least two working days before excavating or digging begins to allow sufficient time for a professional to mark the location of any buried wire, cables or natural gas pipes. It’s a free service.
Over the last three years, the number of dig-ins to electrical and natural gas pipes has declined by 39 percent. Working together, Avista and customers can ensure this positive trend continues.
“Calling 811 is quick and easy and gives customers the peace of mind they need to step on the shovel or fire up the backhoe without worrying about their safety, extra cost or downtime -- all of these things come with breaking a line,” said Terry Bushnell, Avista Utilities. “At Avista, safety is a top priority. That’s why we’re reminding customers that even a simple project like digging a hole for a mailbox post or planting a tree can have serious consequences if they don’t call 811 first.”
Nationwide, 37 percent of all digging damages result from not calling before digging. In addition to safety concerns, accidental dig-ins can cause service interruptions and are costly to repair. In 2009, Avista saw more than $375,000 in damage from accidental dig-ins, a cost that residents incur if they damage a pipe or line.
To learn more safe digging tips visit www.avistautilities.com/safety/call.
Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides electric service to 356,000 homes and businesses and natural gas to 316,000 homes and businesses in three Western states, serving more than 485,000 customers. Avista’s primary,
non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.”
For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
Avista Corp. and the Avista Corp. logo are trademarks of Avista Corporation.
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