Click Before You Dig, Drill or Excavate

Updated May 2020

At this time of year many Manitoba homeowners are itching to get outside to begin working in their yards. If you’re among this group and if you’re planning any project that involves excavation – like digging postholes for a fence, planting shrubs, installing a sprinkler system, or even putting in a new garden or flower bed – find out the location of underground natural gas and electrical lines before you dig. This could save your life and the lives of those around you.

Every year, homeowners and contractors in Manitoba damage buried utility lines on their property or job sites resulting in costly repairs, injuries, lawsuits and tragically, even fatalities. Sadly these accidents can be easily prevented with a free line location.

Manitoba Hydro is part of the service provided by the Manitoba Common Ground Alliance. A landowner can request natural gas and electrical line locates, along with many other utility locates, with one online request or phone call. is free, simple to use and available 24/7. Once an online request is submitted and the locate is scheduled, Manitoba Hydro will mark underground natural gas and electrical lines free of charge, so work can proceed safely.

Plan ahead

You must send a locate request to at least three full work days before you intend to begin any project that involves excavation or disturbing the ground deeper than 15 cm. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can call ClickBeforeYouDigMB at 1-800-940-3447.

The depth of buried gas lines and electrical cables can change over time, depending on the type of soil covering them, erosion and other activities above ground, such as street-widening, landscaping or the installation of a new flower bed.
If you dig into the ground and hit an electrical line, you may:
• cause a power outage;
• suffer a serious injury from a shock or be electrocuted.
If you dig into the ground and hit a natural gas line, you may:
• release natural gas which, if ignited, can cause injury or even death;
• damage or destroy your excavation equipment;
• cause a local or widespread natural gas disruption, including evacuation;
• be liable for the cost of repairs.

Dig safe. Know what’s below.

Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc Public Safety & Education Coordinator, Manitoba Hydro.