By: Lareina Taing, Marketing Communications Specialist
With over 59 million acres of farm land in Montana (1), you’ve probably seen signs of the annual fall harvest. And with over 15,000 miles of underground pipeline in the state (2), it’s nearly inevitable that underground pipelines run near or through farm land. Erosion, frost, root system growth, and other factors, will change the depth and position of utility lines. These facilities can be buried just a few inches below the surface, so even small excavating projects can result in damages. Exercise caution and prevent damages by always following the safe digging process for all agricultural excavations.
Protect yourself, others, and your valuable property by following these safe excavating steps when harvesting at a depth of 24 inches or more (3):
Remember that private underground lines you may own such as farm taps and geothermal loops are not marked by utility companies. Protect yourself and invest some time to determine if there are private utility lines buried in the area of excavation. If so, you may have to contact a private locator to get them marked. Go here for a list of private locators in Montana: http://bit.ly/1PyvSre. Stay safe and “call or click” before you begin harvesting this year!
1. Source: United States Department of Agriculture. More details: http://bit.ly/2g7wbvP
2. Source: Pipeline Association for Public Awareness. More details: http://mlgpa.pipelineawareness.org/
3. Source: Montana Code Annotated 2017 69-4-501. More details: http://bit.ly/2xCQ4Bt
4. Source: Montana Excavation Safety Handbook. More details: http://bit.ly/2zsoBEF