UGI Encourages Homeowners and Contractors to Work Safely on National 811 Day
09 Aug 2019
As part of National 811 Day – which will be commemorated on August 11 — UGI urges homeowners and professional contractors to “Call Before You Dig” before embarking on home improvement projects and new construction. This simple practice will help keep individuals safe and prevent damage to underground facilities.
Pennsylvania law requires excavators to call 811 prior to using powered equipment for digging projects, including minor projects such as landscaping. UGI reminds all individuals doing excavation work to call to 811 at least three business days before starting a digging project to have underground utilities marked.
There is no charge to homeowners to locate utility facilities.
“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” Tim Angstadt, UGI Utilities Vice President of Operations, said. “Calling 811 before you dig is the law.”
Examples of projects that require an 811 call include installing a mailbox or fence, building a deck, and planting trees or shrubs. After callers contact 811, the 811 center notifies the appropriate utility companies of the location of the planned excavation. Utility companies then send out professional locators to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or paint.
Data collected by UGI indicates that a significant amount of weekend damage is attributable to projects that did not utilize 811 before digging. Homeowners planning a weekend digging project must call 811 by the Tuesday prior to the weekend to meet 811 requirements.
“Third-party excavation damage is the number one cause of natural gas pipeline damage involving death or serious injury,” Angstadt said. “Striking a utility service line can cause personal injury, property damage and utility service outages that inconvenience communities. In addition, persons responsible for striking unmarked utility lines may also face the costs of repairs and fines.”
UGI also encourages those engaged in construction or home improvement projects to “look up and live” to avoid overhead electric wires and other overhead facilities, including phone and internet cable lines.
“As a utility company that also provides electric service to customers, we also take this opportunity to make customers aware that damage and potential injury can be avoided by being aware of overhead power lines,” Angstadt added.
“National 811 Day provides us with an opportunity each year to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before digging to prevent the risk of striking an underground utility line,” Angstadt concluded.
UGI Utilities has headquarters in Denver, Pennsylvania and serves more than 700,000 customers in 45 Pennsylvania counties and one county in Maryland. Customers interested in additional information visit the UGI website at www.ugi.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; Twitter at www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.