Protecting underground facilities is our universal responsibility. Before your next digging project, call 811 to know what’s below to avoid putting yourself, or your community, at risk. Take the extra step prior to starting any project that requires you to dig by dialing three simple numbers – 811.
So, while there are opportunities to get started on outdoor projects during the summer and fall, remember, every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Landscaping, planting trees and shrubs, installing a fence or mailbox, and building a deck, pond or patio, are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.
Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water, and sewer lines are damaged. Last year, 153 of Pepco underground electric lines were struck due to unsafe digging practices, which could have been avoided by calling 811.
When calling 811 at least two business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to District One Call, which will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it’s safe to begin digging around the marked areas with the appropriate tools.
It is critical that local residents, excavators and contractors know what’s below before digging. That’s why we are committed to promoting safe digging practices and doing our part to make sure our customers, contractors and excavators across the state have the latest safe digging tips and best practices.
Take a step back and evaluate if your project requires a call to 811. Properly locating underground lines is essential to safely completing any digging job.