For Immediate Release: April 2, 2020

SMUD asks customers to make safe before digging

April is National Safe Digging Month

Spring is the time to begin outdoor projects. From small projects like planting a tree or building a fence, to big ones like putting in a swimming pool, be sure to call 811 before you dig. 

Notifying Underground Service Alert (USA) North a minimum of two full business days before beginning to dig will determine if there are any dangerous or costly underground utilities in the area. The service is free by phone or internet. 

Whether you are doing the job yourself or hiring a professional, be smart and dig safe by calling 811 or visiting usanorth811.org to request a utility-locate before each ground disturbance job; using the website via smartphone for your notification can also save you time. The notification is valid for 28 days, so if the excavation project goes beyond this timeframe, notify USA North again to renew your ticket.

SMUD and other area utilities such as gas, water, and telecommunications will respond to determine whether they have underground facilities within your project area, and if so, the locations will be marked at the excavation site. Underground utility lines are not always located in the street; some utilities may be located in back or front yard easements or even driveways. Digging into an underground utility line can cause power outages and/or personal injury or death.

“During this time of heightened concern over COVID-19, SMUD is grateful to our crews for keeping our community safe and providing vital services,” said Frankie McDermott, SMUD Chief Energy Delivery Officer. “If you see our field personnel out, please greet them from afar with a thumbs up or a wave.” 

Be aware, it is the law to notify USA North via 811 before you dig. Besides the legal requirement, it’s the way to stay safe and avoid financial and legal responsibility for repairs and/or injuries. For more information, visit usanorth811.org. For more information about SMUD and how we are working during this time, visit SMUD.org/coronavirus.