07 Apr Think Before You Dig or Burn
Happy Spring Everyone!
Hopefully, the snow and cold weather are behind us. With spring comes the rush for digging holes and making improvements around your property. This is a very busy time for us as well because construction season begins. The construction process gets more difficult when we have to stop to repair the destruction of a cut cable. We are also seeing more and more damage from burning ditches. Yes, underground cables can be destroyed by fire. Our hand holes in road ditches are either plastic or fiberglass and they will burn. The cable in them is also plastic and it burns very easily too. If you are burning, make sure you keep the flames at least 10 feet away from our hand holes. They are usually marked with either 1 or 2, 4”X4” wood posts in the road ditches.
Please remember to call Diggers Hotline 3 days before you dig. Never assume the cable is several feet deep. Over the years, topsoil may have been removed. Also, never assume that a cable is minor and only feeds residential services. We recently had a small fiber-optic cable accidentally damaged outside of La Farge that was a major transport route to Madison and other neighboring companies. Several very large businesses in Madison had their service interrupted. We were able to temporarily restore service, but it took 3 days to make permanent repairs and could only be done in maintenance windows after midnight. This will probably cost the cooperative in excess of $10,000.00 from cable repairs as well as lost services for customers on that route.
Another thing to consider is the time and stress that is created for our employees when a fiber cut happens. Help our employees enjoy their spring by not creating outages that takes them away from their off-hour plans. Enjoy spring and the freedom to move around this year. Help our employees enjoy their spring by calling Diggers Hotline before you start your projects.