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 Louis Panzer, executive director of North Carolina 811. Nationwide, every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with colored flags, spray paint or both.

Aside from violating the law, failing to have buried utilities marked before digging could lead to an interruption in service, costly repairs or serious injury. 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. You can call as early as 10 days before you begin the project.

Thus, dialing 8-1-1 prevents injuries, property damages and inconvenient outages.

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As part of National 811 Day - commemorated on August 11 - UGI urges homeowners and professional contractors to "know what's below" and to "look up and live" when taking on home improvement projects and new construction. Once underground utility lines are marked, it is important to take special care around all line markings by digging by hand. "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". Even if you are installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree or laying a patio, a call to 811 should be one of your first steps. "Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak".

The commission routinely monitors the utilities' gas emergency plans to make sure that they are up to date, to identify improvement areas, and to ensure that the plans are in compliance with the commission's gas safety requirements, they said in their release. PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and in the Rockaways.

Any project that includes digging or excavation should be preceded by an 811 call. If the damage results in a risky situation, call 9-1-1. For more information, visit call811.com.

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