(Photo: Adina Voicu/Pixabay)

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

Spring has sprung and home digging projects could be on the rise with many B.C. residents practicing social distancing.

BC 1 Call, along with FortisBC and the BC Common Ground Alliance, is urging that people call or click before starting any digging to acquire a free underground utility locate (blueprint drawings of all utilities in the area) to ensure a safe project and no damage or service disruptions to telecommunications, water, sewage or natural gas lines.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty at the moment amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and we understand the desire to get outside in your yards and take advantage of the spring weather. However, it is imperative that you know what is beneath you before you do,” said Chris Hyland, BC 1 Call president.

“In addition to service disruptions, the unnecessary damage could pull emergency resources, such as fire and first responders, away from areas where they are critically needed at a time like this.”

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Whether it’s a plan to build a retaining wall, plant a tree or put in fence posts, BC 1 Call will provide a safe assessment of the area.

The free request is critical for neighbourhood safety and if a line is damaged, staff may not be able to promptly fix the problems while maintaining the mandated physical distancing protocols.

“We often see an increase in ground disturbance in the spring as homeowners are starting to work outside, which is why April has been National Dig Safe Month for many years,” said Dave Baspaly, executive director of BC Common Ground Alliance.

“If a homeowner does not submit a request, ground disturbance can cause serious damage, and sadly, even injury. With what is going on in the world, we need to do everything we can to continue to provide a safe environment for our families and our neighbours.”

A free locate check is available 24/7 at bc1c.ca. For more information, call 1-800-477-6886.

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