Uniondale, NY - April 16th, 2014 - April is National Safe Digging Month, and PSEG Long Island is reminding customers, contractors and excavators to take care when digging to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. To make it easy, 811 has been designated as the national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked.
When you call 811, you are automatically connected 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 your locate request becomes valid, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas.
Every digging project, even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck, requires a call to 811. The call must be made whether you are hiring a professional or planning to do the job yourself. Striking a single line can cause serious injuries as well as outages, resulting in repair costs and fines.
Here’s important information to consider:
- Underground electric, gas, communications and water lines are everywhere, even on private property. You can easily damage them if you don’t know where they are, with the potential to seriously injure yourself or others. Digging into these lines also can disrupt the vital utility services and result in costly delays, expensive repairs and environmental or property damage.
- Whether planning a major home improvement project or installing something as simple as a fence, mailbox post, For Sale or baby announcement sign, a call must be placed beforehand to know where it’s safe to dig.
- Call 811 at least four business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. Utility workers will respond and place markers where utility lines are buried, free of charge.
- Be sure to wait three full business days after calling before doing any digging. Don’t dig until lines have been marked.
- Property owners must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines.
- If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, please call 911 immediately from a safe area. Call before you dig is more than a good idea — it’s the law.
Additional information, including a damage prevention booklet on safe excavating practices and the protection of underground facilities, can be found online here.
About PSEG Long Island
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 $10 billion.