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Ameren Missouri crews mark buried utilities at this location (file photo courtesy of Ameren Missouri's Andy Painter)

(LISTEN): Ameren Missouri urges residents to call 811 before digging

An Ameren Missouri professional locator is at a home to mark any buried utilities (file photo courtesy of Ameren Missouri’s Andy Painter)

April is national safe digging month, and Ameren Missouri is reminding you to be cautious and to call 811 before beginning a digging project.

Ameren damage prevention public awareness specialist Ramona Schatzer tells 939 the Eagle that calling 811 is the law and that it protects customers and the entire community. She says you should call 811 at least three business days before starting a digging project.

“What that does is it will trigger a communication to all utilities within scope of your dig site. And they will send a utility locator out so that way we can paint and flag the site for the approximate location of those underground utilities,” Schatzer says.

Ms. Schatzer says that an underground utility is damaged nationwide every six minutes, because someone didn’t call 811 before digging. She says millions of homeowners across the country dig before calling 811, putting themselves at risk of serious injury or death and fines.

“It’s Missouri statute to call prior to digging, that way you are notifying those underground utilities so they can come out and assist in protecting them. But also if you don’t call 811 or even if you do and you damage a utility line, you can be liable for those damages,” says Schatzer.

Ms. Schatzer encourages you to call 811 at least three business days before starting a digging project. You can also visit 24 hours a day.

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