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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