WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- - A slow and fuzzy television signal can be frustrating. But in some cases, it can be easily avoided.
Monday, a construction crew in Lebanon hit a fiber, cutting off signal to Direct TV viewers. It's another example on why contractors must call before digging.
"It's extremely important to know where any utilities are before you dig," West Lafayette Engineer, Dave Buck said.
Call Before You Dig is the program to contact before starting any project that involves digging into the ground. It's free, mandatory, and you reach it by simply dialing 811.
"It's a state law," Vectren Energy Gas Technician, Alisa Pate, said. "You need to call two days ahead of time. There could be a fee or a fine for a utility or contractor if they cut us and they haven't called 811."
A broken line could cost those at fault millions. Payments could include fixing the line, and paying back the money the utility company lost. But, even more so, a broken gas or electric line can be extremely dangerous and life-threatening.
"Worst case scenario is property damage or even personal injury in terms of hitting a gas line, causing an explosion, and things like that so it could be very, very catastrophic," Buck said.
Call Before You Dig is not just for construction contractors. Even if you're planning a DIY project, you must know what lines are underneath your work site.
"If you're going to put a shovel in the ground, you have to call," Pate says.
"Irrigation contractors, landscape contractors they need to be calling, and so do homeowners," Buck said. "If a deck foundation goes through a telephone line, you're the one paying for the repairs."
Once the call is made, locators have two business days to get to the work site and mark the different utility lines. Different color spray paints indicate different lines. For example, a red mark means an electric line and a blue means gas.
"It's simple, any homeowner or contractor can do it," Pate said. "It's free."
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