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Make one call before spring yard projects to avoid injury, utility disruption and repair costs
During National Safe Digging Month, Ameren Missouri reminds customers to have utilities marked before yard projects

Editor’s note: Video and photos are available in an online media kit.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (April 5, 2022) – Warmer spring weather has Missourians starting outdoor home improvements, so Ameren Missouri is reminding customers to call 1-800-DIG-RITE or 811 before digging so the projects can be completed safely. Giving utility locating experts three business days to mark underground utilities will keep neighborhoods safe and help prevent outages.

Each year, more than 40% of homeowners risk unintentionally damaging buried power, gas and internet lines during these DIY home projects. Outdoor upgrades such as new fences, fresh landscaping and new patios come with a risk of damage to buried utilities. These projects should always start with a call or visit to Mo1Call.com.

“Some underground utility lines are closer to the surface than you think, so it’s important that buried lines are marked before digging – no matter the size of the project,” said Jim Huss, senior director of operations excellence for Ameren Missouri. “With one quick phone call, an expert will mark the location of all your utility, phone and cable lines on the property. This step helps keep your family safe and avoids a serious outage or gas leak that could impact your home or neighborhood.”

Marking utility lines is a free service – and it's the law. Follow these important steps to stay in compliance and avoid costly property or utility damage:

  1. Call 1-800-DIG-RITE, 811 or visit Mo1Call.com at least two business days before starting a digging project. This is a free service where you can easily submit requests to your local utility companies to locate utility lines before you dig. Requests can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Wait until a professional locator comes out to mark natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines. The approximate location of buried utilities will be marked with paint and flags so that you can avoid them. Each utility type corresponds to a specific color of paint and flag, and all of them must be marked before you can dig.
  3. Once the site has been clearly marked, proceed to dig with caution. Make sure to dig carefully around the marks and not on top of them. It’s important to use the appropriate tools to dig with care and follow safe digging practices.

Even if you have had utilities marked for past projects, it’s important to contact Missouri One Call or 811 every time. The lines may have shifted in depth or location due to erosion and root growth since the last project. To learn more about safe digging, visit Mo1Call.com.

To learn more about natural gas safety, visit AmerenMissouri.com/safety. For homeowners who are planning on planting trees or shrubs, Ameren Missouri offers some helpful advice for picking the right location, as well as tree trimming information.

About Ameren Missouri
Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than 100 years, and the company's electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. Ameren Missouri's mission is to power the quality of life for its 1.2 million electric and 132,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. The company's service area covers 64 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit Ameren.com/Missouri or follow us on Twitter at @AmerenMissouri or Facebook.com/AmerenMissouri.