Prepare for Spring Safely

In the middle of winter, spring might seem so far away, but it will be here before you know it. And for many of us in the Rio Grande Valley, that line between winter and spring is not so distinct, so there’s a good chance that many will be out in their yards early doing springtime preparations and chores.

When you go out in your yard to start getting to work, it’s important to keep in mind something that many people might forget about: utilities. Whether you’re digging holes to plant trees or seeds or up high trimming tree limbs, utility lines are all around you. Hitting one of those lines can result in a service interruption, severe injury or even death, so it’s important to plan ahead and take precautions.

Any time you’re doing work in your yard that requires digging, you should contact Texas 811 at least two business days (excluding weekends and holidays) in advance to have any utility lines in your yard marked. You can do this by phone by dialing 811 or by going to the Texas 811 website. It’s a free service available to both homeowners and contractors.

Some of the types of lines that could be buried in your yard include:

  • Electricity
  • Oil & gas
  • Telecom
  • Water & Sewer

Using Texas 811 will make any digging that you have to do much safer, but don’t forget to be aware of what you can see as well. Always be careful of any overhead electrical wires. Here are some additional tips for safer preparations for spring:

  1. Make sure to stay at least 10 feet away from any overhead powerlines.
  2. If you have a tree with limbs near power lines, use a professional tree trimming service.
  3. Do not irrigate near power lines or electrical boxes.

And another good tip would be to plant native whenever possible. These plants will not only be more predisposed to thrive in this environment, but they will require less water, resulting in a lower water bill.