Calling 811 Before You Dig in Montana is the Law
You never know what's hiding under your lawn. There are likely natural gas or power lines, internet or cable lines, water and sewer lines. Plus, there could be any number of abandoned lines, depending on your property. Hitting some of them could result in costly damages. Hitting others could be deadly.
April is National Safe Digging Month, an awareness campaign coordinated by Common Ground Alliance. CGA is an industry consortium that promotes safe digging to the public and to companies that are in the business of digging.
In Montana, springtime marks the unofficial start of digging season, as home improvement projects kick into high gear. Many of us are planning things like a new fence, landscaping projects, a new deck, gardening or maybe even a pool. Before you stick that shovel in the ground - even just to plant a tree or bush - call 811.
They ask you call at least two days before you start digging. Not only is it safe, it's also Montana law. Montana811.org reminds residents that you are legally required to call 811 before you dig, quoting Annotated Code, 69-4-502 which states,
…an excavator may not make or begin an excavation without first obtaining information concerning the possible location of an underground facility from each public utility, municipal corporation, underground facility owner, or other person having the right to bury underground facilities that is a member of a one-call notification center ….
Montana811.org adds that this rule applies to both professional contractors AND Joe Homeowner. Anyone planning on digging any hole, needs to call 811 first. You can also submit an online locate request HERE. They also say it's not safe to relay on outdated flags or marks.