Four Myths For NOT Contacting JULIE Before You Dig

Did you know that utility lines are buried on your property? That’s because today most electric, gas, water, sewer, and communications companies deliver their services underground. If you’re planting, building, adding, or fixing anything that requires digging and you strike a line, you can knock out service to your home or your whole neighborhood, cause serious and costly damage, and even physically harm yourself or your family.

JULIE, Illinois’ FREE notification service to contact for safe digging, is here to help you prevent damaging underground utility lines. Contact us and we will alert our member utility companies so they can indicate where on your property buried lines are located. Simply submit an E-Request or call at least two business days prior to starting any excavation.
Here are a four of the most common myths that preclude individuals from contacting JULIE before they dig.

Myth 1: I Already Know Where Utility Lines Are Buried

Are you 100 percent sure? Nationwide, an underground utility line is unintentionally damaged every few minutes because someone did not know where it was buried on their property. In fact, more than 25 percent of underground utility line damage was caused by a homeowner or contractor failing to contact a local notification service like JULIE to have their site marked. In Illinois, state law requires you contact JULIE whenever you disturb the earth—every project, every time.

Myth 2: I’m Replacing A Similar Project In The Same Area

You may think you know exactly where it’s safe to dig but never assume an area is free of underground utility lines. Utility line depth and placement can change over time due to erosion, root system growth and other environmental factors. So if you’re off even a few inches in any direction when you dig, you could cause severe damage. Don’t take a chance. It only takes a few minutes to submit a locate request. Even if you assume you know the location of underground utility lines around your home or are replacing a similar project in the same place, you must notify JULIE first.

Myth 3: I’m Not Digging Deep Enough To Cause Damage

You might be surprised to learn that many utility lines are just a few inches below the surface and you risk striking one by simply putting your shovel in the ground. Whenever you’re digging on your property—no matter how shallow—you’re required by law to contact JULIE to have underground utility lines marked. Neglecting to do so can result in an interruption to services, costly utility repairs, or worse. The service is FREE and available 24/7/365.

Myth 4: It’s Just A Small Project

You don’t need to be tackling a large-scale project such as installing a fence, pool or deck to contact JULIE before you dig. Smaller tasks like planting a garden, shrub or tree also require you have underground utility lines on your property marked. Illinois law requires the person actually doing the digging contact JULIE—that’s your contractor if you hire a professional or you if you do it yourself—at least two business days before starting any excavation. Stay safe and keep critical utilities connected by always contacting JULIE before you dig, whether you’re working on a project large or small.

Don’t be influenced by myths. Know the facts. You must contact JULIE before you dig. Every Project. Every Time.

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