Reading, PA (August 1, 2011) – It’s important to adhere to safe digging practices yearround, but August 11 (8/11) serves as a particularly notable day to point out the importance of reminding residents and contractors to call 811 before starting a digging project.
When calling 811, homeowners are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint.
In Pennsylvania, homeowners and contractors are required by law to contact PA One Call, by dialing 811 at least three business days before beginning any digging or excavation project.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. 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 need a call to 811 before starting. “On August 11and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Joseph Swope, UGI Spokesperson. “Failure to call before digging results in more than 250,000 unintentional hits annually, and we do not want anyone’s project to become part of the statistic.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Visit www.call811.com or www.ugi.com for more information about 811 and the call-before-you-dig process.
UGI is a natural gas and electric utility company that serves nearly 630,000 customers. Additional information about UGI Utilities is available at www.ugi.com. Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ugiutilities or Twitter: www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.