Local utility companies encourage residents to call before they dig in their yard this spring

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DECATUR, Ala. - Before you start digging in your yard this spring, Decatur Utilities says there is a phone call you should make.  "That applies if you're working on your house, or worksite or new construction," said Joe Holmes, Decatur Utilities.

It's a simple call, 811, and within 48 hours: "We'll come out and mark all of the underground lines so that customers can dig safely in those areas," said Holmes.

He says people often don't make the call, and it becomes something many regret. "Digging into an underground power line can be deadly, digging into a natural gas line can release gas into the air and can cause an explosion," said Holmes. "On the other side if you dig into infrastructure and damage it, then you are responsible for repairing it and it can be very costly."

Something as simple as putting in a mailbox, could leave you with a big problem. "The biggest thing is we want people to be safe and at the same time we want to make sure they're not damaging stuff as well," said Holmes.

No matter where you live, just call 811 and they will get your utility company to you. It is the law to call 48 hours before your shovel meets the ground.

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