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April is National Safe Digging month

April is National Safe Digging Month- and now that the freezes are over, homeowners might be...
April is National Safe Digging Month- and now that the freezes are over, homeowners might be thinking of putting in a pool or a garden.(KXII)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 6:30 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - April is National Safe Digging Month- and now that the freezes are over, homeowners might be thinking of putting in a pool or a garden.

Cherokee Ballard with Oklahoma Natural Gas said the only way homeowners can safely dig is by calling 811 before putting the shovel in the ground.

“This is the time when a lot of people are assessing their landscaping,” Ballard said. “And especially with all of the weather we’ve had this past year”

Carin Salazar with Marcum’s Nursery in Ardmore said she’s watching customers decide to replace plants right now.

“This freeze has killed a lot of things,” Salazar said. “You can tell if it’s not going to come back and then you just replace it. But you wanna replace it before it gets too hot, too.”

That’s why April is a good month for planting. But there’s more than just dirt and worms in the ground.

“The last thing you want to do is hit a gas line or electric line or internet and cause an outage in your neighborhood,” Ballard said. “You don’t wanna upset your neighbors. You don’t wanna cause some serious injury to anybody.”

To keep everyone safe, the law says to call 8-1-1 to verify where gas and utility lines are on a property.

“They will either spray paint lines of different colors of the different ground utilities, or they’ll put these little flags up,” Ballard said. “They’ll put those in your yard so you know where your lines are, so you know where not to dig.” <ballard>

Dig at least two feet away from the flags and lines.

“definitely plan,” Salazar said. “Especially if its a big project that you want done.”

The service can also be requested online. It’s free, and required by law.

“Then you can start your project with no worries,” Ballard said. “No worries about hitting any lines or anything.”

Oklahoma Natural Gas also created a website where those looking to dig can take a safe digging quiz to be entered in a contest for a gift card.

“Potentially win a hundred dollars and you might be able to pay to replant that tree,” Ballard said.

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