DETROIT – Michigan’s MISS DIG 811 service is requesting to postpone all digging projects amid the state’s stay-at-home order during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an announcement Tuesday, MISS DIG 811 encourages all Michigan residents to postpone any excavation to limit field personnel’s exposure to COVID-19.
The announcement comes after the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) urges the suspension of non-essential excavation amid the COVID-19 outbreak in an announcement Tuesday.
“Delaying digging until after the Governor’s executive order is lifted is best, but if it can’t be put off, it’s important to call 811, no matter how small the project,” said MPSC Chairman Sally Talberg. “Everything we can do to reduce the risk of people getting injured, or worse, from striking buried infrastructure while digging helps reduce the burden on hospitals working so hard to treat patients impacted by COVID-19.”
MPSC says underground utility lines in Michigan are damaged during excavation projects each year, putting lives and properties at risk and causing service disruptions.
If residents still choose to dig during this time, they are required by law to call 8-1-1 or place a web request with MISS DIG 811 here, officials said.
Trained workers are then sent to a job site to mark locations of underground gas, electric, communications, water or sewer lines to ensure they aren’t damaged during digging, officials said.
Residents must receive a positive response before beginning a digging project, officials say. The status of an online request can be checked here.
“If it’s not essential, please wait until after the executive order is lifted to dig,” said MISS DIG System, Inc. CEO Bruce Campbell. "It’s up to all of us to keep ourselves, our neighbors and underground utilities safe.”