Black Hills Encourages Safe Digging In Fire Aftermath
Joe Denoyer - March 12, 2017 2:39 pm
LAWRENCE, Kan. – March 10, 2017 — While there has been no impact to Black Hills Energy natural gas utility facilities in Kansas as a result of this week’s wildfires, deemed the largest ever to burn across the state, the devastation has affected nearly two dozen counties.
According to underground line locating service Kansas 811, there will be a sizeable increase in underground line locate requests in the coming weeks, with some repairs considered urgent. Also, recent markers for buried utility lines may have been destroyed by a wildfire, so some areas will need to be marked again.
Excavators, property owners, community volunteers – everyone is required to call 8-1-1 to have underground lines located before digging. It’s safe, it’s free and it’s the law.
Call Kansas One-Call toll-free at 811 or go to www.kansasonecall.com at least two business days before you plan to dig. Utility specialists will visit your site for free and mark the approximate location of buried utility lines with color-coded paint or flags – at no charge to you. Yellow, for example, marks gas lines.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the folks who have been affected by the wildfires,” said Nick Gardner, general manager for Black Hills Energy’s Kansas gas operations. “As a gas utility and member of Kansas One-Call, our first priority is always public safety. Any time of year, you must call before you dig. Buried gas lines may be out of sight, but they should never be out of mind.”
Anyone who doesn’t Call Before You Dig can face substantial penalties. Striking an underground utility line could lead to significant fines, leave you responsible for expensive repairs to public or private property, to blame for a service outage to a neighborhood or entire community, or responsible for grave injury over a wide area.