Excavation work causes damage to underground utility lines every six minutes in the US, damage that is preventable with one simple call to 8-1-1.
That’s why Eversource is joining utilities throughout the country to recognize National 8-1-1 Day on August 11 by reminding customers and contractors to put safety first when starting a digging project, whether it’s as basic as planting a shrub or tree, or as complex as installing a deck or pool.
And calling 8-1-1 ahead to mark underground utilities is not only critical to avoid injuries and disruptions of utility service, it’s also the law.
“With more than 20 million miles of underground utilities crisscrossing the country – including electric, natural gas, phone, cable, internet and water lines – it’s crucial that people call 8-1-1 before they dig,” said Eversource Vice President of Safety Bob Coates.
Coates said striking a single line can cause a power interruption or service outage and, most importantly, serious injuries.
“We’re there when our customers need us, and that includes providing important reminders to keep them safe,” he said.
Call Before You Dig (CBYD) oversees safe digging practices in Connecticut and offers a one-call system to locate and mark underground facilities that are near proposed excavation areas. By calling 8-1-1 at least two full working days before starting the job, homeowners and contractors are connected with CBYD, which notifies local utilities of any scheduled digging activities. Professionals then visit the property to mark utility-owned underground lines with flags and/or spray paint to indicate areas to be avoided.
Some essential tips to remember:
- Regardless of the depth of the digging or familiarity with the property, always contact 8-1-1 before starting a project.
- Underground electric, gas, communication and water lines can be located anywhere. Know what’s below to avoid injury and damage to utility lines.
- Whether using power equipment or hand tools such as axes, shovels or posthole diggers, the law requires notifying CBYD in advance of a project that requires digging or excavation work.
- Hitting a utility line can lead to injury, service outages, repair costs and even fines.
For more information about Call Before You Dig, visit www.cbyd.com.