You May Not Know Your Land As Well As You Think You Do

We got a call on a Sunday afternoon from a farmer.  He had been plowing his field, land that had been in his family for generations.  He said he hit something.  He thought it might be a fiber line.

This was the beginning of an ordeal.  Fiber lines can be costly to repair and can put hundreds of customers and even emergency services out of service.  Damages to any underground line can be avoided by contacting South Dakota 811 for a free utility line locate.  Sometimes, the utility company expects the person who hits the line to pay for the repair.

Don’t let this be you!  It is so easy to avoid.

South Dakota 811 is open for your locate requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can always speak with a live agent by dialing 811, or if you prefer, simply enter your requests online.  Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal.  Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

Even when you’re in a hurry.  Even when you know there is not an underground utility line on your property.  Avoid the risk.  Always contact South Dakota 811 before you dig.

Until next week, safe digging!

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We Have a Lot to Be Thankful For

As Thanksgiving approaches, our thoughts turn to what we have to be thankful for.  Family.  Health.  Good Fortune.  South Dakota 811.

What???

We tend to take it for granted, but South Dakota 811 keeps us safe all year long.  Working with experienced utility locators and our utility companies, South Dakota 811 has our back.  They keep us safe when we excavate near underground utilities.  They help protect us from injury and property damage by letting us know what’s underground.  They also protect us from accidents when we aren’t the ones doing the digging by helping others know how to dig safely.

At South Dakota 811, we’re open for your locate requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can always speak with a live agent by dialing 811, or if you prefer, simply enter your requests online.  Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal.  Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

Until next week, safe digging!

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On Your Mark

When it comes to safety, the difference is in the details.

Crucial marks on the ground can depend on the accuracy of work site information provided to those in the field.

The men and women who locate underground utilities face challenges. They are in the elements, travelling and working in a variety of weather conditions. Their duties lead them to busy intersections, new subdivisions, and wide open land. They traverse fences to find what they’re looking for. The answer to the high call for damage prevention and public safety can take you anywhere, really.

Poor work site information would be unwelcomed challenge, and one that can affect safety. However, there’s many ways to provide great information to those in the field!

Describing the dig site at an address eliminates confusion. Driving directions and GPS coordinates can save precious time; especially for areas that are rural, newly developed or difficult to find. Pre-marking the area with white paint or flags provides an on-site visual for work areas that may be hard to describe. And in an industry that is rooted in communication, the best contact information should always be provided.

Step one is hearing from you, and we look forward to it! To process a free locate request before you dig, simply dial 811 to speak with a live agent or you can visit us online. Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal. Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

Good work site information means better efficiency and safety for all.

Until next time, safe digging!

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Safety First

The changes in weather remind us of routine maintenance work to be done. High winds and heavy snowfall can have a costly and even dangerous impact on our communities. Branches may harm power lines if they fall, so be sure to keep an eye out for any trees that could cause trouble.

With outdoor projects, safety should always come first. Here are a few tips:

  • Do not attempt to prune a tree if power lines run through or near it. Call your local power company instead.
  • Use a fiberglass or wooden ladder. Metal ladders conduct electricity.
  • Plant shrubs and trees away from meters, boxed transformers, and switching cabinets. If vegetation is blocking such equipment it can make repairs, maintenance and meter reading difficult and even dangerous for utility workers.

Remember, underground power lines are just as dangerous as those found overhead. If your project involves any digging, make sure to get your underground utility lines marked. It’s free! It’s also the law. To speak to a live agent, please dial 811. Homeowners can click HERE to process a request online through our Homeowner Portal. Professional excavators can request locates online by clicking HERE.

We can’t stop the weather but by putting safety first, we can certainly avoid damage and injury.

Until next time, safe digging!

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Time to Rewind

The best part about springing forward has to be the Fall Back.

Sunrise and sunset will be about 1 hour earlier on November 4th than the day before, so remember to set your clocks back!

What will you do with the extra time?

Autumn is upon us, and winter will surely follow. It’s time to wrap up all of those outdoor projects. As you remember to rewind your clocks, please also remember to call 811 before doing any digging.

We know your time is valuable. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your locate request needs. You can reach a live agent by dialing 811, or you may enter your request online. Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal. Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

Getting your lines located is free and greatly reduces the risk of damage to underground facilities. Also, it’s the law. We appreciate a moment of your time, in the interest of safety.

Until next week, safe digging!

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Winter is Coming

Outdoor chores need to be completed in preparation.  Whether it’s replacing a few fence posts, repairing a water line or burying a new electric line to your shed, South Dakota 811 is here to help.

A call to South Dakota 811, or an online request for a locate, gets the underground utilities in your worksite marked within two business days.  There’s no reason to risk hitting something underground that could knock out your utilities or potentially injure you or damage your property when contacting South Dakota 811 is so easy.

Here’s how:

We’re open for your locate requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can always speak with a live agent by dialing 811, or if you prefer, simply enter your request online.  Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal.  Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

Not only is it the law to call before you dig, but getting your lines located reduces the risk of accidentally hitting an underground utility to less than one percent!

Until next week, safe digging!

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Beauty at its Best

South Dakota makes it look easy. What with the beautiful black hills, flora and wildlife.

The wide open spaces and quiet terrain.

The diversity. The people.

But some things we simply cannot see; at least not right at first. Before we dig, we cannot see buried infrastructure such as gas, electric, and communication lines. Or can we?

Getting lines marked out with flags and paint is free, and it greatly reduces the risk of damage and injury.  It’s also state law.

South Dakota 811 is here to help you see the unseen. We’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We ask that you let us know where you plan to dig within 48 hours.  Simply dial 811 or go online:

  • Click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal
  • Professional excavators can request locates online HERE

Let’s stay ahead of the damages. Working together to keep our community safe is a beautiful thing.

Until next time, safe digging!

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For the Good of the Herd

This past Friday was the 53rd annual Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park.  Except for a few big bull bison who tend to be very aggressive, the entire herd of approximately 1,300 head is corralled.  The herd is checked for new calves who are vaccinated and branded.

About 200 animals are auctioned.  Why?  To balance the size of the herd with the land they inhabit. It’s for the good of the herd.

Contacting South Dakota 811 before you dig is also for the good of the herd.  The human herd.  When everyone does their part to get their worksite marked for underground utilities before they dig – it is good for everyone.  When everyone does their part, there is a less than 1% chance that the dig will result in damage to underground utilities.  But if you don’t contact South Dakota 811 first, you’re rolling the dice on whether your shovel or mechanical digger will hit a utility.

Contacting South Dakota 811 is easy.  We’re open for your locate requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can always speak with a live agent, or if you prefer, simply enter your requests online.  Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal.  Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

And it’s good for the herd!

Until next week, safe digging!

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The Best Things in Life are Free

The best things in life are free

It’s been a popular saying since appearing in a song in the 1927 Broadway musical Good News.

“The best things in life are free
Now that I’ve discovered
What you mean to me
The best things in life are free”

Over the past 90 years, the meaning has expanded to mean much more than romantic love.

At South Dakota 811 we have a commitment to keeping you informed and safe while keeping your wallet out of the equation.

That is why a quick phone call to South Dakota 811 is all it takes to get the information you need on the location of nearby underground facilities.

Within two working days, the utilities will respond with paint or flags so that you know what’s below and it won’t cost you a thing.

Not only is it the law to call before you dig, but it reduces the risk of accidentally hitting an underground utility to less than one percent!

At South Dakota 811, we’re open for your locate requests 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  You can always speak with a live agent, or if you prefer, simply enter your requests online.  Homeowners can click HERE to reach the Homeowner Portal.  Professional excavators can request locates online HERE.

We’re happy to help, not send you a bill.  See, the best things in life really are free.

Until next week, safe digging!

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This is Buried Infrastructure’s Best Friend

Have you ever had a friend that always showed up to help when you needed them most?

For excavators in South Dakota, this constant companion is referred to as the “Tolerance Zone”.

The Tolerance Zone is an invisible layer of protection for underground facilities that shows up every time you call 811 for a free locate request.

But what exactly is the Tolerance Zone?

As shown in the image below, when digging in South Dakota, the Tolerance Zone can be described as the area within 18 inches of either outside edge of the marked underground facility.

And although you can’t physically see the Tolerance Zone, it’s an additional safeguard for the buried lines.

Implementing safe digging practices in the tolerance zone such as soft digging, hand digging, or pot holing are all great ways to carefully uncover the underground utilities.

Regardless of which method you choose, it’s important to remember to visually confirm the location of the underground lines in the Tolerance Zone before the use of any mechanically powered equipment.

So, don’t forget to call 811 before your next project, the utilities will show up to mark their lines.

Until next week, safe digging.

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