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. These simple practices will help keep individuals safe and prevent damage to both underground facilities as well as overhead electric wires and other equipment.
Pennsylvania law requires excavators to call 811 when planning excavations using powered equipment for major landscaping and even minor digging projects. 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 or contractors to locate utility facilities.
“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” Robert Krieger, UGI Utilities Vice President of Operations, said. “Calling 811 before you dig is the law.”
Any project that includes digging or excavation should be preceded by an 811 call. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and even small projects like planting trees or shrubs are all examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 prior to starting. 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.
“Third-party excavation damage is the number one cause of natural gas pipeline damage involving death or serious injury,” Krieger said. “Striking a single utility service line can cause personal injury, property damage and outages that inconvenience communities. In addition, persons responsible for striking utility lines can also face the costs of repairs and fines.”
“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,” Krieger added. “As a utility company that also provides electric service to customers, we take this opportunity to make customers aware that damage and potential injury can be avoided by being aware of overhead powerlines as well.”
UGI Utilities has headquarters in Reading, Pennsylvania and serves 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.