Call before you dig. Not only is this a good idea, it is the law.
If you are planning to install a backyard pond typically the first thing to do is to choose the place where you want to have the pond or water garden. Imagine going through the whole planning process only to find out that when you start digging there are utility lines; phone, electric, or gas lines running smack through where you wanted to have your pond! This happens more than one would think and there is a simple remedy for this problem and it is free!
Your state has a toll free easy to remember number that you can call to have a technician come to your location and do what is called a mark out; all you have to do is call 811. Calling 811 will connect you to your states mark out service. Or you can visit their website for more specific information at The tech will locate and mark for you the location of all utilities that are coming into your location and all it takes is a phone call. The service is usually very quick to show up and they give color coded marking for each utility that is running underground to your house. The 811 service recommends calling for any type of excavation even if it is a fence post or mailbox post, or you’re doing larger landscape plantings. This allows you to better plan where that amazing koi pond you are planning is going to be located. This allows you to dig confidently but still not without any cares. Some of what they do not mark out are sprinkler lines, low voltage lighting lines, buried pet fencing, or buried over rubble to name a few but any of the issues that could be life threatening or create costly damages will be knocked off your list of potential problems, but care is still needed whenever excavating anywhere.
There are also private services that will charge for their services but they also offer to mark out for more than just the utility lines, they may be able to tell you where buried pipes or old lines are. Their fees will vary depending on the scope of the mark out needed.
So before you dig in that shovel for your new pond project or water garden, make sure to make the call and get your mark out; and remember it’s a free service worth every penny! Happy pondering all..
All copyrights to this material belong to Mike Gannon

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