STATE — April is National Safe Digging Month, and PSE&G is reminding customers, contractors and excavators that they must call before digging to avoid hitting underground gas and electric lines. To make it easy to call, 811 has been designated as the national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked.
When you call 811, you are automatically connected to the New Jersey one-call center, which collects information about the digging project. The one-call center then provides the information to the utility companies who will send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked and your locate request becomes valid, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas.
Every digging project – even a small project like planting a tree or building a deck – requires a call to 811 whether you’re hiring a professional or planning to do the job yourself. Striking a single line can cause outages and result in repair costs and fines.
What you need to know before digging:
- Underground gas and electric lines are everywhere, even on individual properties. You can easily damage them if you don’t know where they are. Digging into these lines can disrupt vital utility services and result in costly delays, expensive repairs and environmental or property damage. Worse, you can seriously injure yourself or others.
- Whether planning a major home improvement project or installing something as simple as a fence or mailbox post, a call must be placed beforehand to know where it’s safe to dig.
- Call 811 or 1-800-272-1000 at least four business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. Utility workers will respond and place markers where utility lines are buried, free of charge.
- Be sure to wait three full business days after calling before doing any digging. Don’t dig until lines have been marked.
- Respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines.
- It’s not only a good idea to call before you dig, it’s the law.
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