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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011
CONTACT: Leah Mohr, deputy executive director, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission, (605) 773-3201 or (605) 280-4327 

Remember 811 on 8-11 for safe digging

PIERRE, S.D. – 811 is an important number to remember, on 8-11 (Aug. 11) and every day, suggests the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and the South Dakota One Call Board. Placing a simple, free call to 811 before digging will set wheels in motion for all underground utilities to be marked before landscaping, building or other projects can safely begin. 

The South Dakota agencies are joining hundreds of others across the nation to bring attention to safe digging and damage prevention on Aug. 11, when the calendar date mimics the 811 telephone number to call before digging.  

"Dialing 811 at least 48 hours before digging for any home or commercial project is a smart and easy way to ensure personal and property safety," said PUC Chairman Gary Hanson. "Hitting an underground utility line while digging can cause damage to the environment, serious injuries, service disruptions and can potentially result in fines and repair costs," he explained. 

South Dakota One Call Board Chairman Kurt Pfeifle of the Mid-Dakota Rural Water System urged homeowners, contractors, builders, landowners and anyone else to call 811 before the shovel hits the dirt. "Putting in a fence, planting trees, building a patio or deck, installing a post for a mailbox—these are just a few examples of projects that require a call to 811," Pfeifle said.

Diggers can call 811 from any phone to reach a South Dakota One Call representative. The representative will ask the caller for the location and description of the digging job and will notify affected utilities. The utilities will send a professional locator to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of the underground lines within 48 hours. 

Visit the South Dakota One Call Board's website at for more information about safe digging.