BC 1 Call urges fellow British Columbians to prioritize safe digging practices! Homeowners, contractors and landscapers can help avoid service disruption, damage and injury by contacting BC 1 Call before disturbing the ground. 

Spring has sprung! If your latest outdoor projects haven’t already commenced, they’re likely to begin soon. But many homeowners, landscapers and contractors don’t know that if they plan to do any work that disturbs the ground in any way, they could potentially damage important underground infrastructure. Not knowing what’s below, and inadvertently hitting underground infrastructure, raises the risk of serious personal injury, not to mention expensive repair costs. 

April is recognized as Safe Digging Month in B.C. (see the Province of BC’s formal proclamation here). As the link between the excavating community (including both professionals and homeowners) and our members (public and private sector owners of underground infrastructure across the province), BC 1 Call is urging you to take advantage of this free service before you break ground.  Contacting BC 1 Call before you dig is one of BC’s safe digging best practices for projects of all sizes and types.   

What does BC 1 Call do exactly? BC 1 Call’s role is to take requests for information on buried facilities at proposed dig sites. Each request is relayed immediately to all of its members who have infrastructure at risk in the dig site. Notified BC 1 Call members then respond directly to the homeowner, contractor or landscaper with any critical information and instructions needed to avoid hitting underground infrastructure.

What exactly is “underground infrastructure”? Underground infrastructure comes in many forms, but is essentially a service utility’s delivery system to homes and businesses, including pipes and lines carrying drinking water, internet, electricity, gas, telecommunications and other critical services. The potential consequences of not contacting BC 1 Call go beyond a potential service disruption, and include risks of personal injury, environmental damage and project delays. Preventing avoidable damage is a shared responsibility between those digging, BC 1 Call, and the owners of critical underground infrastructure, including BC 1 Call’s 363 members.     

Small projects are exempt, right?  Wrong.  If ground disturbance is involved, then it’s worth checking with BC 1 Call and its members for safe digging instructions. Best to play it safe. Some examples of small residential projects are provided on the Homeowner page of bc1c.ca, and include tree planting and installing fences. 

BC 1 Call provides a year-round free service, so you or your team can contact us anytime before you plan to break ground. Anyone can request a free locate request ticket online 24/7 at bc1c.ca, or via phone during regular business hours at 1-800-474-6886. An online request through bc1c.ca is quick and convenient. Always request a locate ticket at least three business days in advance of starting work, and remind those in your community to do the same. 

Contacting BC 1 Call in advance, and then digging with care, helps protect people, the environment and underground infrastructure. When we work together, we keep B.C. safe!