Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

National 811 Day reminds people to call before digging

National 811 Day reminds people to call before digging

Pennsylvania law requires a call to your local 811 (One Call) Center when performing excavations using powered equipment for major landscaping and even minor digging projects. "The number-one cause of underground utility damage is not digging properly".

Call 811 before you dig. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have lines re-marked, according to a press release. Striking a pipeline, wire or cable can result in costly repairs, fines or utility service outages. 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.

Before starting any project, big or small, Corey says to get your information together about when and where you are going to dig and call 811 three full working days prior. "Still, even with that record number of calls, 44 percent of the damage to our electric facilities in 2016 occurred because someone did not call 811 before digging". Headquartered in East Syracuse, our Customer Service Representatives in our East Syracuse and Latham call centers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to receive calls regarding planned excavations.

"It doesn't matter where you're digging in your yard; we encourage everyone to always call 811 before any digging project". Examples include putting in a mailbox, planting a flowerbed and building a deck.

The member utilities then mark the dig site, indicating the approximate location of their underground public utility lines. “Calling 811 really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area.”.

If you hired a contractor, confirm that a call to 811 has been made.

Calling New York 811 automatically connects you to the New York One-Call Center, which collects information about your digging project. Once lines have been accurately marked, this is when digging can start. 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. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income.

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