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MPSC urges homeowners and contractors to postpone digging

Posted at 1:04 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 13:04:33-04

LANSING, Mich. — April is Safe Digging Month, according to the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) who says this year, things are a little different due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MPSC said it is urging homeowners and contractors to postpone any non-essential digging until Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Stay Home Stay Safe executive order is lifted.

If a digging project can't wait, the MPSC said it reminds Michigan residents that it's required by law to first call MISS DIG 811 to have underground utilities clearly marked before digging begins.

The commission said underground utility lines are damaged during digging projects each year which causes service disruptions in addition to putting lives and property at risk.

MPSC said using MISS DIG is easy and can be done by calling 811 or filling out an online request at a few days before beginning a digging project.

The commission said trained workers from local utilities, other underground facilities owners and public agencies are dispatched to the job site to mark off locations of underground gas, electric, communications, water or sewer lines using colored flags or spray paint.

“Delaying digging until after the Governor’s executive order is lifted is best, but if it can’t be put off, it’s important to call 811, no matter how small the project,” said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “Everything we can do to reduce the risk of people getting injured, or worse, from striking buried infrastructure while digging helps reduce the burden on hospitals working so hard to treat patients impacted by COVID-19.”

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