With many homeowners improving on their homes through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance is saying that if people are going to dig, they should dig safely.
While April would normally be Dig Safe Month, this year the SCGA says it top of mind as many people build things like new decks, fences or dig a garden during the time they’re at home. In addition to that, construction work across the province ramps up every April by up to 60 per cent.
The SGCA explains that every year, thousands of buried utility lines are damaged, which can cause serious injuries, take out service to entire neighbourhoods and potentially result in fines or repair costs. These damages are estimated to cost over a billion dollars annually in Canada.
There were 780 line damages reported in Saskatchewan in 2020 according to SGCA data, and 32 per cent of Crown utility line hits were the result of not calling ahead to notify.
Residents are reminded that any project that requires digging, commercial or personal, requires a locate request. They’re encouraged to either call or check online with Sask 1st Call before digging so that they can quickly request a line location.
A professional locator will come to check the line, marking off different lines with different colours to reflect if it something like a gas, electric or communications line. People can also call ahead to learn things like how far away they should be digging from the line, if they should use hand tools, and more.
People can also use Click Before You Dig anywhere in the country to look up this information themselves.