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Pepco Reminds Customers to Call 811 before Digging

WASHINGTON, D.C. - April is National Safe Digging Month, and to stay away from underground utility lines Pepco urges customers to call 811, the phone number to the underground utility locating service. The 811 service was created by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), which works with all industry stakeholders to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure such as gas and electric lines and to ensure public safety and environmental protection.

Whether planting shrubbery or installing a fence, deck or mailboxes call 811 for the safety of family and neighbors and to avoid fines and repair costs. By law, the underground utility locating service must be called at least two days in advance of digging.   

"This free nationwide service was established to avoid digging accidents that could result in serious injury or death," said Donna Cooper president Pepco Region. "When 811 is called from anywhere in the District of Columbia or Maryland, the call is routed to a local operator who will send a locator to mark the approximate site of underground utility lines so the caller will know what's below and will be able to dig safely."

Also, for anyone working outdoors, Pepco urges they avoid power lines when carrying long or tall items, such as ladders, scaffolding, tree saws and pool cleaning equipment by holding them parallel to the ground.  Remember to look up before raising any long or tall objects to ensure they are clear of any overhead wires. Electricity can move through conductive materials such as water, metal, wood, aluminum, string and plastics. Certain critical clearances are required by law and a minimum of 10 feet must be maintained when working near power lines.

For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.           

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