The financial burden of damage to underground infrastructures in Ontario is estimated at over $667 million in 2018 with 5,042 reported incidents. No matter how small or shallow the digging is, Ontario homeowners eager to start landscaping and outdoor renovation projects are urged to Call or Click Before You Dig
as part of “Dig Safe” month this April.
“Whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor, if you dig, no matter how big, always contact Ontario One Call,” says Ian Simpson, Director of Education, Marketing and Compliance. “Underground infrastructure is often buried just under the surface. Whether you’re building a fence or a deck, digging a pool or planting a tree, be safe. One click or call gives you the peace of mind knowing you are protecting your home, family and neighbourhood.”
Safe digging is serious business. Homeowners should be aware that even a familiar site may be unsafe to dig due to construction alterations, relocations, additions, and natural erosion. Never assume it is safe to dig - there could be gas lines, electricity cables and water lines just below the ground. If someone hits underground cables or pipes there could be serious fire and safety hazards potentially involving police and the fire department.
By law, every Ontario homeowner, or their contractor, must contact Ontario One Call, before they dig. This process prevents damage to buried cables or utility pipes and the loss of essential services.
Ontario One Call is a free
service … call 1-800-400-2255 or click www.OntarioOneCall.ca
Once a request is made, Ontario One Call notifies infrastructure companies to visit the property within five business days to mark (locate) underground cables or pipes in the vicinity of the planned dig. Digging without locates is an expensive and dangerous problem in Ontario. There are millions of dollars in damages that are completely avoidable.
Those who do not contact Ontario One Call and damage underground infrastructure could be held liable for damages. For contractors, charges and fines can also follow under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Despite these penalties, 2018 had 5,042 reported damages to underground cables or pipes. Thirty-six per cent of all reported damage in Ontario is caused because a locate was not requested*.
Next time Ontarians visit a Home Depot Tool Rental, Sheridan Nurseries, Garden Gallery or Connon Nurseries location they’re encouraged to pick up a brochure to learn more about Ontario One Call and how easy it is to request a locate.