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Digging and Excavating

Call 811 or Louisiana One-Call at 1-800-272-3020 before you dig.

Hitting an electric line can shock or kill you and cause power outages. Hitting an underground gas pipe can create a fire or explosion hazard. These lines can be just a foot under the ground. So whether you want to plant a tree or dig a trench, call the local one-call utility locator service. They will arrange to mark the location and depth of any buried lines.

Before using power-digging tools, hand dig.
The locator service will tell you the location of underground utilities, but not their depth. Before using any power tools, hand dig to verify exact utility depth. Any time you suspect unmarked hazards, hand dig the area carefully to test your suspicions. Backfill the soil gently to avoid damaging any utilities.

Be aware of pipeline markers.                                                            

Watch out for aboveground markers that indicate the need for extra care around a high-volume transmission pipeline. Call the number on the marker if you notice suspicious activity nearby, or if you see construction-related activity and there are no utility personnel present. Never use pipeline markers as a substitute for calling 811.

If you contact an underground utility:

  • Leave the area immediately and tell others to stay away.
  • Call 911 and the local utility company as quickly as possible.
  • Report even minor damage; what looks harmless can cause big trouble.

Learn where all underground utility lines are located before beginning any digging project.


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