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Have your yard inspected before landscaping, gardening



FARGO, N.D. – With the snow melted and warmer weather arriving, people will soon begin annual spring traditions of gardening and landscaping. Xcel Energy says to be safe, you should call 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked, free of charge, before beginning any digging projects.

Damaging or striking a single utility line can create a dangerous situation, cause serious injury, and result in repair costs, fines and outages. In North Dakota, homeowners and contractors should call 8-1-1 or submit an online request to North Dakota One Call at least two business days before beginning a planned project.

Xcel says every digging project, large or small, requires a call. Installing a post for a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree are all examples of projects that need a call to 8-1-1.

North Dakota One Call will notify the appropriate utility companies of the caller’s intent to dig. At no charge, professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both.

Xcel Energy had nearly 20 incidents in North Dakota last year where buried gas and electric lines were not located beforehand and damaged during excavation.

Customers need to make arrangements with a private locate company to locate lines not owned by a utility, such as a line installed by a homeowner to heat a pool or light a garage.