Make a call to 811 part of your springtime plansThis April marks the 10th annual National Safe Digging Month. As a member of the Common Ground Alliance, AEM reminds its members, their customers and employees to always call 811 before any digging project.  

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to a local one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. 

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811.

“As April marks the traditional start of digging season, we are using this month to strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging,” said William "Bernie" Bernhard, AEM manager, technical and safety services. “By calling 811 to have the underground utility lines in their area marked, homeowners and professionals are making an important decision that can help keep them and their communities safe and connected.”  

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, Bernhard noted, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

For more information about Common Ground Alliance, contact AEM's William "Bernie" Bernhard (, tel: 414-298-4106).