WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some home improvement projects require digging, but it isn’t safe to dig just anywhere.

It’s August 11th so utility companies are reminding the public to call 8-1-1 before they dig. Utility lines are buried all over your yard and it can be a catastrophic situation if you hit one.

Massachusetts law requires everyone to call 8-1-1 at least three business days before you dig. When you call, a representative will take your project information and notify the affected utility companies. Then, a professional will mark any buried lines with flags or spray paint at no cost to the caller.

Katie Shea, Communication Specialist at Springfield Water and Sewer Commission told 22News, “It’s important before starting any excavation project to contact dig safe to help protect all underground utilities including water and sewer pipes. We know our water and sewer pipes are really essential to daily life and public health and any damage during excavation could cause a disruption in service. That’s why having proper mark ups helps prevent damage to those pipes.”

There are more than 170,000 unintentional line strikes every year in the U.S.