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For Immediate Release


Pepco Reminds You to Call 811 Before You Dig

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 12, 2016) - Yesterday, 8/11, served as a natural reminder for all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging. Nationwide, 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 that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices.

Striking an underground electric line can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.

Pepco has more than 7,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines, buried throughout the District of Columbia and Prince George's and Montgomery Counties in Maryland. In addition to Pepco's lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities. Even properties that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground.  

When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to District One Call to provide information about their project. District One Call will notify Pepco and all member utilities of plans to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities. Calls are required at least three business days in advance of digging. 

Once lines are located, customers and contractors doing work also must understand 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 and supports sharing best practices to promote safe excavation and decrease instances of damage to underground lines.

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