Southwire Digs National Safe Digging Month

Apr 20, 2017

As April showers bring on May flowers, it's the season of putting in gardens, landscaping, and building decks. Before you get out the shovels and start digging into the gardens and yard, Southwire would like to remind you that it is National Safe Digging Month. Regardless of where you live throughout the nation, dialing 811 will connect you to a local call center that will happily tell you if there are any underground utility lines where you plan to dig. There are over 20 million miles of underground utilities in the United States, but 811 is a free service to help you avoid all of what is buried beneath your property or dig site. This is to prevent fines, repair costs, or even injury and death as a result of striking a power or water line with a shovel.

According to the Common Ground Alliance, the force behind National Safe Digging Month, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes. By calling 811 a couple days in advance of your planned dig, you won't become a statistic. An operator will take your information and contact utility providers in the area. The areas where utility lines are on your property will then be marked with highly visible flags or spray paint. recommends that you then shovel 18-24 inches away on both sides of the marks. Although your project will take extra time to ensure that you do not strike a power or water line, your safety is guaranteed.

 A deceiving aspect about underground power lines is that they can fail easily - but it might happen some time after a fence has been built or trees have been planted. Minor damage to a cable's insulation - such as grazing it with a shovel or nibbles from borrowing animals - can allow moisture to reach the conductor. This moisture can lead to corrosion and eventual cable failure. This is why Southwire developed the SureSeal® Cable for installers to use when they install underground power lines. It is their ounce of protection against anything that would nick or puncture underground cables both for themselves during the installation process and for you as a homeowner. It has a self-healing sealant that closes any 'wounds' to the cable to prevent corrosion and cable failure.

If you are an installer and would like to know more about SureSeal® can help you deliver reliable power to your customers, please contact Lee Peeples at

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