In honor of National 8-1-1 Day on August 11, Eversource reminds customers, contractors and excavators to put safety first when starting a digging project of any kind.
Whether it’s as basic as planting a shrub or tree, or as complex as installing a deck or pool, 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.
“Accidental dig-ins can happen anywhere a buried utility line is – whether it’s someone’s backyard or a major construction site,” said Bob Coates, Vice President of Safety at Eversource. “Most people are surprised to learn there are more than 20 million miles of underground utilities in the U.S. So, for everyone’s safety, it’s crucial that people call 8-1-1 before digging.”
According to the Common Ground Alliance, the national organization that promotes safe digging practices, every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without calling 8-1-1 first. Learning what’s below the ground before digging or excavating is easy to find out, thanks to organizations in each state that govern safe digging practices.
Here in Connecticut, the local association, Call Before You Dig (CBYD), oversees the public safety program and offers a one-call system to locate and mark underground facilities that are near proposed excavation areas.
By calling 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors will be connected with CBYD, which then notifies local utilities of their intent to dig. Professional locators will then visit the property to mark utility-owned underground lines with flags, spray paint or both, to indicate which areas to avoid.
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 protect yourself and others from injury and avoid damaging utility lines.
– Whether using power or mechanized equipment or even hand tools such as axes, shovels or posthole diggers, the law requires you to notify CBYD at least two, full working days in advance.
– Hitting a utility line can lead to injury, repair costs, fines and even service outages.
For more information about Call Before You Dig, visit www.cbyd.com.
Eversource (NYSE: ES) transmits and delivers electricity to 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns and provides natural gas to 226,000 customers in 72 communities in Connecticut. Recognized in 2015 as a top-ranked “green” utility in the U.S. by Newsweek magazine, Eversource harnesses the commitment of its approximately 8,000 employees across three states to build a single, united company around the mission of delivering reliable energy and superior customer service. For more information, please visit our website (www.eversource.com) and follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT).