Every few minutes nationwide an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without calling 811 first.
Sunday, Aug. 11 (8/11) is a perfect time to remind BGE customers to call 811 before doing any digging at their homes. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. For example:
- Planting new shrubs? Call 811.
- Putting in a new mailbox? Call 811.
- Building a deck? Call 811.
- Installing a flag pole? Call 811.
BGE has more than 17,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines — 65 percent of the electric distribution system. Additionally, there are nearly 14,000 miles of BGE natural gas distribution and service lines throughout central Maryland. In addition to BGE’s lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities.
When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to Miss Utility, the local one-call center, which notifies BGE and other utilities of the intent to dig at a location. The utilities’ professional locators then mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both at digging sites. Once lines are located, customers and contractors 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. After lines are marked, customers and contractors must proceed carefully. Hand dig with caution and never use mechanized equipment near marked utilities.
BGE joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day and as a member of the Common Ground Alliance shares best practices to promote safe excavation and decrease instances of damage to underground lines. The company also provides customers and local contractors with important information about safety around overhead and underground utility lines through mailings, customer newsletters, social media and print advertising.
More information is available at bge.com.