Westmont, Illinois -- Date Issued: March 30, 2022
As part of National Safe Digging Month, homeowners and professional excavators in Illinois are reminded to call JULIE at 8-1-1 before every digging project, regardless of the size or depth. JULIE 8-1-1 (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) is a free call and service that helps prevent unnecessary and often costly damage to underground cables and utility lines.
When you call JULIE 8-1-1, customer service agents will be available to receive and process your request 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is also a JULIE E-Request online option that can be accessed at JULIEBeforeYouDig.com.
When calling JULIE 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to the Illinois One-Call System that notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both so that homeowners and contractors know where they can dig safely.
Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting JULIE. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that require a call to JULIE. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
PROJECT PLANNING When planting, building, adding or fixing anything outdoors, know what’s below. JULIE encourages homeowners to take the following steps when planning a digging project.
Plan ahead. Always notify JULIE at least two business days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property. Even if you think you know where the underground lines are located, you must notify JULIE for each project, every time.
If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor notified JULIE. Do not allow work to begin if the underground utility lines are not marked. A contractor should never tell you there is no need to contact JULIE for a digging project. There is no excuse. Do you have a question about the process? Contact one of JULIE’s Damage Prevention Managers.
Confirm that all lines have been marked and consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings. Learn more about digging near the tolerance zone.
For more information, visit the JULIE website.