April Showers Bring May Flowers
Most—if not all—GVEC Review readers are probably familiar with this old rhyme. If you’ve got a green thumb and enjoy spring gardening and planting, you probably know the truth of it, too.
April is a great month to be outdoors in South Central Texas. Uncomfortable summer heat is still a few weeks away, and there are enough sunny, beautiful days to allow for lots of time on spring planting. However, although the blooms of May are certainly a worthwhile payoff for time spent indulging a green thumb, gardeners must remain mindful of where they do their spring planting.
You’ve Got a Call to Make
Whatever your experience level, and regardless of whether you’re planting trees, shrubs, the previously mentioned May flowers or some other project type, you have a responsibility to make sure your plantings won’t block padmount transformers (big green boxes) or grow into electric line easements. Before you start any kind of planting or other job that involves digging in your yard, you must make a call to Texas 811.
No Job Too Small to Make a Call to Texas 811
Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether they need to get the utility lines on or near their property marked; however, every digging job, no matter the size or scope, requires that you make a call to Texas 811 before beginning. Even smaller jobs like the planting of trees, shrubs and, yes, spring flowers, require a call. Why? Because the depth of utility lines, pipes and cables varies, and all these structures are sometimes buried closely together in a relatively small area beneath the ground.
The Consequences of Not Calling
If you dig, but don’t make a call to Texas 811, you run a serious risk of causing damage to underground utility lines, pipes, cables and other such structures. And if you hit a pipe, a cable or something else buried beneath an easement on your property, even slight damage can cause costly consequences. Such consequences can include power outages and disruption of others services, injury to yourself or others, and even potential fines. You might also be on the line for the cost of repairs to any damage you cause.
More Reasons to Make a Call to Texas 811
If the reasons we’ve already mentioned for calling 811 don’t convince you, we’ve got two more: First, calling 811 before digging isn’t optional—it’s the law. Besides the safety and financial risks involved in hitting a utility line, there are legal risks, too. May flowers are beautiful, but are they really worth breaking the law for?
Secondly, getting underground utility structures marked is free of charge. Yes, GVEC and other utility providers will come out and mark your lines for free, giving you the complete confidence of knowing where to dig and, more importantly, where NOT to dig. After you make the call to 811, each provider will have two business days to come mark your underground lines.
GVEC is here to help get your job done as safely as possible. If needed, we can even temporarily disconnect power to your meter. To schedule a temporary disconnect or to learn more about 811, call us at 800.223.4832.