Calling before you dig is critical to maintain services during pandemic

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (DAKOTA NEWS NOW) - With the arrival of warmer weather and more time at home during the pandemic, many of us are starting to work in the yard. There is a critical call to make before you grab the shovel.

Calling before you dig is critical to maintain services during pandemic

South Dakota one call is a free service that marks your hidden utility lines underground. There may be more beneath your shovel than you think.
During the pandemic, it's more important than ever.

SDN Communications has fiberoptic cable underground. Vernon Brown, VP of Marketing for SDN Communications knows how a cut line could affect others, starting with those close to where you live.

"If you cut a connection in your neighborhood, you could be putting a lot of people out of work right now that's the last thing we want to do," said Brown.

If you call 8-1-1 before you dig, you know what areas to avoid.

"You know you're tilling your garden you're fine especially an existing garden. But if you have any doubt if you're gonna dig for a fence post in your yard. You probably want to call and you really need to call," said Brown.

During the pandemic technology is being relied on more than ever.
"Healthcare right now doing so many tele-visits so it really can be a matter of life and death," said Brown.

Avera eCARE relies on the connection from SDN communications for their telehealth programs. Troy Clavel is VP of Information technology. "We've beam into emergency rooms and small critical access hospitals of the 30 state area," said Clavel.

Severing one of those lines could be a matter of life or death.

"Don't tempt fate especially with a situation that we have now those lines can be anywhere you would not expect them to be there," said Clavel.

South Dakota One Call will have your yard or construction site marked in two business days, giving you peace of mind when you grab the shovel.

"Because you are obligated by law to do it, and if you cut something you're also liable for the cost of things. So it's important before you do any serious digging, you really need to call before you dig," said Brown.

You can find the color code for the flags and more information regarding underground utilities at www.sd811.com.