At South Dakota 811, we don’t just sit around the building waiting for people to dial 811 with a locate request.  We’re a part of our community.

A couple of weeks ago, we were over near Baltic, South Dakota, attending AgPhd.

Along with the South Dakota Pipeline Association, we were talking with farmers about the importance of the “call before you dig” message.

What is AgPhd?   It’s a giant event attracting about 10,000 farmers from around the nation and the world to a one day event to learn about the latest agricultural products and practices to improve crop production.  (You can get more information here:

One thing we were talking about is tiling.  For those who don’t know, tiling is pretty much what it says it is: placement of drain tile below the surface to drain fields of excess water, thereby giving farmers more area to plant crops.  It works by lowering the water table, letting plants more properly develop their root systems.   Drain tiling is not a new technique; descriptions of it exist from 200 BC and the first century AD.

Modern tiling equipment can place drain tile at a depth up to 7 feet deep, so it’s very important for farmers using this technique to make the call to 811 before they begin working their fields.  Just because there’s corn on top, doesn’t mean there isn’t a gas line below.

Here’s a picture of a tiling machine on the left, and drain tile on the right.


Additionally, in South Dakota, if the tile physically enters ditches in the public right of way, the drain tile must be registered with South Dakota One Call.  It costs little to register and can protect this costly investment and future crop damage.

At South Dakota One Call, we stand ready to assist our farmers and ranchers – and homeowners and contractors – every single day of the year.

Just give us a call, or visit our website at

Until next week, safe digging!

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