Know What’s Below: Steps for Safe Digging

April 25, 2021

Spring is here and there’s never been a better time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air. Perhaps you’re making plans for a new garden or a lawn makeover. However you’re planning to revamp your backyard oasis, remember to keep safety in mind for all projects––especially those that require digging near underground utility lines.

Most of us never think about the electric, gas, water and other utility lines buried below the ground, but hitting one of these lines while digging is not the reminder you’ll want––trust us! Stearns Electric Association reminds all members who are planning a digging project to call 811 at least three business days before you start. Or you can submit a request online by visiting

Here’s how the process works:

  • After you call 811 or submit your request online, all affected utilities will be notified of your intent to dig. It may take the utilities a few days to get to your request, so please be patient.
  • The affected utilities will send someone out to mark the buried lines with paint or flags.
  • Before you break ground, confirm that all the utilities have responded to your request. If you placed your request by phone, use the process explained by your 811 call center representative. If you submitted your request online, refer to your 811 center ticket to confirm everything.

By taking this important step before you break ground on your project, you can help protect not only yourself but our community. Disrupting an underground utility line can interrupt service, cause injuries and cost money to repair, so remember to call 811 first and know what’s below.

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