JULIE urges farmers to call before they dig

Photo credit: JULIE

An excavation expert says farming the same land for generations is not an excuse to break ground on a project without notifying utility companies.

“A lot of people assume. Oh, I remember that it’s over there, you know, so many feet off of the fence line or it crosses a waterway in this location, but it’s always a smart thing, and the only safe thing, to make that call.”

Roger Watwood, the Southern Illinois Damage Prevention Manager for JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) Incorporated tells Brownfield there are many underground lines including cable, phone, electric and pipelines that could cause major injury or death if hit while digging.

He says farmers digging on farmland other than where their home is located can be penalized differently for failing to call.

“If a damage would occur, they wouldn’t be looked at as a homeowner, they would be looked at as an excavator where there could be fines and penalties assessed.”

Watwood says farmers should contact JULIE by calling 8-1-1 even for simple projects like installing a mailbox or bird feeder post.

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