PECO to homeowners: Dial before you dig

April is National Safe Digging Month, and PECO reminds all customers and contractors to call 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked before digging.

Nationwide, every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 8-1-1, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 8-1-1 phone number and safe digging practices, a PECO press release said.

Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause serious injury, damage and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 8-1-1. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 8-1-1 should be one of the first steps.

PECO has nearly 9,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines, 12,000 miles of natural gas distribution and service lines, and 31 miles of natural gas transportation lines buried throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to PECO’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, the release said.

When calling 8-1-1, customers and contractors are connected to PA One Call to provide information about their project. PA One Call will notify PECO and all member utilities of your plan 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, excavators 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.



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