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Calling 811 before digging protects life and property

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 1:13 p.m. CDT

Before planning a home improvement, planting a tree, installing a fence or deck call JULIE by dialing 811. It’s the law in Illinois to place this call before you dig. Even the smallest home improvement job, like planting trees or shrubs, require a call to JULIE to ensure that you don’t damage natural gas lines while digging.

Local fire departments regularly respond to calls for natural gas lines being struck and damaged while residents or professionals are digging for various reasons. Damaging a natural gas line can be a very dangerous and potentially life-threatening situation. Striking and damaging natural gas lines can cause injury, damage to property and to the environment. If you strike a natural gas line while digging, call fire the department immediately by calling 911.

The easiest and best way to avoid striking and damaging natural gas lines when you are planning to dig is to call 811 before digging. JULIE is a free service and call center operators are available 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Call at least 48 hours or two business days before digging and tell the operator where you plan to dig and the type of work. JULIE will contact the affected local utilities, and within that 48-hour or two business day period, the utility companies will send someone to mark the location of underground lines, pipes and cables. Then you will know what is beneath the ground and you can dig safely.

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