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Can you dig it? Call first to find out

April is Dig Safe month in Ontario
2019 03 20 Call before you dig ON1Call
Ontario One Call is reminding you during April's Safe Dig Month to call before you dig. Supplied photo/Ontario One Call

Spring weather is just around the corner, and Sudburians are itching to get started on those landscaping projects (at least once the snow finally melts).

Ontario One Call is reminding all Ontario residents of the importance of digging safely, no matter how big or small your project may be. April is Dig Safe month and it's important to call before you dig in order to avoid hitting any underground cables or utility pipes.

In Sudbury, as well as the districts of Nipissing, Muskoka, Cochrane, Haliburton, Manitoulin, Algoma, and Temiskaming, there were 175 damnage incidents reported in 2017. These incidents are costly, and the financial burden on the province was an estimated $667 million in 2018, with 5,042 reported damages to underground infrastructure.

By law, every Ontario homeowner, or their contractor, must contact Ontario One Call, the not-for-profit call centre responsible for coordinating locates with the registered owners of underground infrastructure, prior to digging.

"Whether you do it yourself or hire a contractor, if you dig, no matter how big, always contact Ontario One Call," said Ian Simpson, director of education, marketing, and compliance, in a press release. "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."

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, there were more than 5,000 reported damages to undergound cables or pipes last year.

Thirty-six per cent of all reported damage in Ontario is caused because a locate was not requested.

Ontario One Call is a free service and can be contacted 24/7. Phone 1-800-400-2255 or visit them online at OntarioOneCall.ca.