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Digging Deeper Into The Red Tape

, , , , | Working | July 9, 2021

In my town, if you are planning to dig in your yard, you call a number and they’ll come out and mark the location of all sewer, gas, and water lines, etc., so you don’t accidentally dig into one. I call the number.

Me: “I’m planning on putting in a little shed.”

Operator: “Okay. How deep are you planning on digging?”

Me: “I’m not actually going to have to dig.”

The shed is a kit that you bolt to a heavy wooden platform that sits directly on the ground.

Operator: “Sorry, we only mark dig sites.”

Me: “Yes, but I want to make sure I don’t build this on top of a line.”

Operator: “Dig sites only.”

Me: “Yes… but say I build this on top of the water line, and then five years later they have to work on it? I don’t want to have to take the whole thing down.”

Operator: “Dig sites only, sorry.”

Me: “So, what should I do?”

Operator: “Call the water, power, phone, gas, and cable companies and ask if they’ll come out and mark the lines.”

Me: “Is that free, like you guys?”

Operator: “No, they’ll probably each charge you for a service call.”

Me: “You know what? I think I am planning on digging.”

Operator: “How deep?”

Me: “A quarter-inch.”

Operator: “We’ll send someone out this week.”

I couldn’t tell if she was trying to give me a hint or was just that officious.

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