Call 811 Before You Dig: It is the Law!

O&R Urges All Excavators to Call 811 Before You Dig

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line, ” said Kevin Service, senior vice president for Verizon network operations.

National 811 Day is conducted each year on August 11 to build homeowner and contractor awareness of safe digging practices.

Every time the excavating public calls 811 before digging, the chance of hitting an underground utility line decreases to 99.9 percent.

Miss Dig 8-1-1 is a one-call service that alerts utilities to dispatch crews to mark those underground utility lines with flags, or paint, in the area you plan to dig.

Pennsylvania law requires a call to your local 811 (One Call) Center when performing excavations using powered equipment for major landscaping and even minor digging projects. UGI reminds all individuals doing excavation work to call to 811 at least three days before starting a digging project to have underground utilities marked.

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting 811, according to the PSC.

If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you could cause serious injuries, disrupt service to your neighbors, or face fines and fix costs. "We do not want anyone's project to become part of this statistic". The only physical way to know what's below is to call and have the utilities buried in your area marked. "Still, even with that record number of calls, 44 percent of the damage to our electric facilities in 2016 occurred because someone did not call 811 before digging". Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. "Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak". Additionally, there are almost 14,000 miles of BGE natural gas distribution and service lines throughout central Maryland. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of gas is present, folks should call 9-1-1 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-427-4321. Once the buried facilities have been accurately marked, you or your contractor can begin digging safely.

Visit www.nc811.org or www.call811.com for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

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