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When to Call Alberta One Call Before Digging

By Jeremie Houle

February 13, 2024

Before breaking ground on any project in Alberta, whether it’s a simple garden renovation or a major construction endeavor, understanding the importance of utility locating is crucial. Digging without awareness of what lies beneath can lead to dangerous and costly consequences. But how deep can you really dig before it becomes necessary to call Alberta One Call? Let’s delve into the guidelines and best practices to ensure your digging projects proceed safely and smoothly.

Understanding Alberta One Call

Alberta One Call is a free service designed to prevent damage to underground utilities and ensure public safety by providing information about the location of underground utilities. Before you dig, drill, or excavate, making that call is not just a good practice; it’s a regulatory requirement for any depth of digging in many cases.

Person calling A Safe Choice Locators expert for professional digging assistance

Why It’s Critical

Ignoring the call can lead to hitting a utility line, which at best can mean service interruptions, and at worst, serious injury or even fatalities. Especially with gas and electrical lines, the risks are too high to ignore.

A Safe Choice Locators: Your First Step Before Digging

Before you even make the call to Alberta One Call, partnering with a professional utility locating service like A Safe Choice Locators can give you a head start. Based in Calgary, our team of experienced locators uses advanced technology to accurately identify and mark out all types of underground utilities. This preemptive step can streamline the Alberta One Call process, as you’ll have a clearer understanding of your project site from the outset.

The Depth Dilemma

Many assume there’s a safe “shallow” depth for digging without needing to call, but the reality is that utility lines can be just inches below the surface. The depth of these lines can vary greatly due to factors like erosion, previous landscaping alterations, and utility installation practices. Therefore, Alberta’s guideline is clear: no matter how shallow the digging, if you’re planning to break the ground, you need to call Alberta One Call.

Concluding Advice

Before any digging project in Alberta, your safety checklist should include two critical calls: first to A Safe Choice Locators for comprehensive utility locating, and then to Alberta One Call to ensure all public utilities are marked. This dual approach ensures the utmost safety and efficiency for your project, no matter its scale.

Remember, when it comes to digging, there’s no such thing as being too cautious. The depth you can dig without calling for a location is essentially zero. So before you dig, make the call to us or fill in the form below. It’s a simple step that can save lives, prevent damage, and keep your project on track.

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