Community Papers

People still forgetting to call before they dig

April is National Safe Digging Month but FortisBC says people are still forgetting to have underground utilities located before they dig.

Last year in Burnaby, more than 5,400 calls were made to BC One Call before people started digging, said the utility. Despite that, the city still saw 44 third-party natural gas line hits.

Springtime marks the unofficial start of construction season in most of British Columbia. It's also typically the time of year when FortisBC sees a spike in calls to repair damage to underground natural gas pipes and electricity lines.

Ninety-nine per cent of damage to FortisBC’s natural gas system is caused by third parties such as construction crews, contractors and homeowners. Whoever causes the damage after not consulting BC One Call is responsible for the repairs, which often stretch into the thousands of dollars.

BC One Call (1-800-474-688 ) is a free service that gives current information on underground pipes and wires. Call at least three business days before you plan to start digging.

“Whether it’s a homeowner installing a backyard fence or a construction crew digging a new foundation, people need to understand where underground utilities are located before they dig,” said Doyle Sam, executive vice-president, operations and engineering, FortisBC. “Out of sight shouldn’t mean out of mind.”

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