top of page

April is National Safe Digging Month: Tips for Nebraskans to dig safely

  • Share:
April 02, 2024

April is National Safe Digging Month: Tips for Nebraskans to dig safely

Kearney, Nebraska  – April 2, 2024 – As Nebraskans plan for spring, Black Hills Energy offers helpful tips to make sure you’re not the neighbor that knocks out the power – or worse – when doing spring projects like planting trees or installing that new backyard fence!
Simple rules for safe digging at home and for contractors:
  • Call 811 before you dig. This quick call will notify all utilities in your area of your plans to dig. You can also submit an online request. Make sure to do this at least two full business days before you dig. On average, seven utility operators are notified for each request.
  • Pre-mark where you plan to dig using white paint, stakes or flags. Marking the site will help utility locators understand your plans, and reduce the chance of project delays if the locator must return to locate additional areas.
  • Respect the marks. Carefully hand dig with a shovel within the tolerance zone of 18 inches or greater depending on the pipe size rather than use heavy equipment.
  • Don’t rely on old line-locate marks. If you do not dig within 10 business days of having utility lines marked, contact Nebraska 811 again. Line locators will return to remark the lines within two days at no charge.
“Whether you’re a homeowner planting a tree or a contractor using a backhoe, safety should always be the priority,” said Kevin Jarosz, vice president of Iowa and Nebraska gas operations. “Any time of year, you must dig safely and always call before you dig. Buried utility lines may be out of sight, but they should never be out of mind.”
Failure to comply with “Call Before You Dig” laws can result in civil penalties or the cost of expensive repairs to utilities and private property. More importantly, hitting an underground utility line can cause widespread service outages, or grave injury to everyone within a wide area.
If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally, or you smell the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas, immediately leave the area and first call 911, and then call Black Hills Energy at 888-890-5554. Do not operate any machinery or equipment that might cause a spark or create an open flame.
Visit to learn more about 811 and safe digging practices. You can also follow Black Hills Energy on Facebook and YouTube for safe digging resources.

Media Contact:
Stephanie King  308.379.2425
24-hour media assistance  888-242-3969
About Black Hills Energy
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE: BKH) is a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company with a tradition of improving life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, the company serves 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers in eight states: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Additional information is available at and
Stephanie King, Community Affairs Manager, (888) 890-5554

bottom of page