Every year, underground utility lines in Michigan are damaged from homeowners and construction crews who dig in the wrong area.

A few days before starting an excavation project, make a free call to 811 or fill out a request online to have local utility workers come and mark locations of underground infrastructure like gas, electric, water, or sewer lines.

“April is the traditional start of construction and excavation season, whether it’s a homeowner putting in a fence post or a developer doing site work for a business expansion,” said Sally Talberg, chairman of the Michigan Public Service Commission.

Research by Common Ground Alliance found that 42 percent of homeowners who are planning digging projects this year will not call 811 beforehand which puts homeowners at risk of serious injury or even death if they strike underground lines as well as their communities at risk of losing utility service.