KNOXVILLE (WATE) – April is Safe Digging Month, and if you’re going to be tacking any projects, you need to make sure you are doing so safely and without causing any damage to yourself or your neighborhood.

Jocelyn McInturff with Knoxville Utilities Board Safety, Security and Technical Services says you should always call 811 before digging to get the approximate location of underground utility lines. The FCC designated 811 as the “Call Before You Dig” number to eliminate confusion and it’s the same number nationwide.

McInturff says knowing where lines are buried helps protect you from injury, expense and penalties. The depth of utility lines vary and there can be multiple lines in the same area. Damage to those lines can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers and cost fines and repair costs.

Moreover, Tennessee state law requires anyone about to engage in any type of digging or other activity that can damage underground lines to call 811 no less than three business days ahead of time. KUB or whatever the appropriate utility is can then come out and mark their facilities with paint or flags. They will do this service for free.

If you dig and hit a KUB line, leave the area immediately and call (865) 524-2911 to report the damage. You can also call 911.