PSEG Long Island Reminds Everyone to Dial Before Digging Today is National 811 Day

Customers and contractors should call 811 to request a mark-out before starting any excavation work.

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Photo by: skeeze

Uniondale, NY - August 11, 2017 - Every six minutes, someone in the United States damages an underground utility line because they started a digging project without calling 811 first, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes safe digging practices.
On the eleventh day of the eighth month of every year, PSEG Long Island joins the Common Ground Alliance and other utilities nationwide in observing National 811 Day, a day to remember the simple phone number that helps ensure a digging job is done right.
Customers and contractors should call 811 to request a mark-out before starting any excavation work. Calling 811 is not only a free, safe and smart way to avoid injuries and disruptions to vital utility services; it is also a New York State requirement.
“Last year, PSEG Long Island responded to more than 160,000 electric utility mark-out requests that came through the New York 811 Call Center,” said John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “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. These were all avoidable incidents that we are committed to reducing by reminding customers how important it is to call 811 before every project.”
The ground beneath us is crisscrossed with vital underground utilities. PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and in the Rockaways. Other utilities bury communications cables and natural gas, water and sewer lines. Even areas across the service territory that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground.
Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. 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. Whether you are a professional or planning to do the job yourself, a call to New York 811 must be made.
Calling New York 811 automatically connects you to the New York One-Call Center, which collects information about your digging project. The One-Call Center then provides the information to the utility companies, who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked and you receive confirmation, you may begin your project.
Here is important information to consider:
  • In New York, call 811 at least two business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. You can call as early as 10 days before you begin the project.
  • If you hired a contractor, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Do not allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked
  • Various colors are used when marking lines, learn what each color represents at
  • Property owners and excavators must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within 2 feet of marked lines or the area known as the Tolerance Zone
  • If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, please call 911 immediately from a safe area
  • Additional information, including a damage prevention booklet on safe excavating practices and the protection of underground facilities, can be found online at
PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a 12-year contract.  PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company with annual revenues of $9.1 billion.