WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 11, 2017) –Today, 8/11, is National Call Before You Dig Day, and Pepco reminds all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging. Every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association promoting 811 and safe digging practices.
In 2016, more than 292 Pepco underground electric lines were damaged by preventable dig-ins. Because of this, Pepco is working with local customers and contractors to raise awareness of safe digging practices.
“Please dial 811 prior to digging and share this information widely with others,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco Region President. “We want to ensure that everyone is safe. It is critical that our customers, property owners and contractors obtain information on underground infrastructure before any work begins.” Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811.”
Pepco has nearly 7,400 circuit miles of underground electric lines in our service territory. Striking an underground electric or natural gas line can cause serious injury, costly repairs, and lead to service interruptions.
Whether you are planting a tree, installing a mailbox, building a deck, or adding a pool, every digging project requires a call to 811 at least three days in advance. Even if you do not have natural gas service in your home, there may be underground lines on your property.
When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to Washington D.C. One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark their underground facilities with flags, stakes, or spray paint.
Once lines are located, customers and contractors doing work should be sure they can recognize the markings and look for evidence of unmarked lines, such as water and sewer lines on private property. Sewer clean-outs and water valve covers are examples of equipment that can indicate the presence of underground lines.
Pepco joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day. We are also a proud member of the Common Ground Alliance, a national association promoting safety education information on underground utility systems.
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