• Tue. Jan 11th, 2022

UGI encourages residents and contractors to call before digging

ByLinda W. Smith

Aug 11, 2021

August 11 is designated as National 811 Day, and residents are reminded to Work Safe and “Call Before You Dig” when planning home or business construction projects. This simple practice will help keep people safe and prevent damage to underground facilities.

Pennsylvania law requires excavators to call 811 before using electrical equipment for digging projects, including minor projects such as landscaping. UGI reminds anyone doing excavation work to call 811 at least three business days before starting a digging project to mark underground utilities.

There is no charge for home owners to locate underground utility facilities. If the owner has hired a contractor to do the excavation work, the contractor is required to make the 811 call. The owner cannot make the call for them.

“Every digging project, big or small, deserves a call to 811,” said Tim Angstadt, UGI vice president of operations. “Calling 811 before you dig is the law. “

Examples of projects requiring an 811 call include installing a mailbox or fence, building a patio, and planting trees or shrubs. After receiving a call, the 811 center notifies the appropriate utility companies of the location of the planned excavation. Utility companies then send professional locators to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or paint.

Historical trends collected by UGI indicate that a significant amount of damage to the company’s facilities over the weekend can be attributed to projects that did not use 811 before digging. Homeowners planning a weekend digging project should notify 811 by phone or on the website at www.pa1call.org before the end of the day on the Wednesday preceding the weekend to meet the requirements of 811 and dig on Saturday.

“Damage from third party excavations is the number one cause of damage to natural gas pipelines resulting in death or serious injury,” Angstadt said. “Hitting a utility line can cause personal injury, property damage and utility outages that hamper communities. In addition, those responsible for breaking through unmarked utility lines may also face repair costs and fines.

“National 811 Day gives us the opportunity every year to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before digging to avoid the risk of hitting an underground utility line,” Angstadt concluded.

UGI also encourages those involved in construction or home improvement projects to “find and live” to avoid overhead electrical wires and other overhead installations, including telephone, internet and cable lines.

“As a utility company that also provides electrical service to customers, we also take this opportunity to educate customers that damage and potential injury can be avoided by knowing overhead power lines,” Eric Sorber, Vice-President and General Manager of UGI, Electricity Division.

For more information on safe digging practices and excavation safety, visit the IGU website at www.ugi.com/811 or the national website at 811 at www.call811.com.

UGI Utilities is headquartered in Denver, PA and serves more than 730,000 customers in 45 counties in Pennsylvania and one county in Maryland. Customers interested in additional information visit the IGU website at www.ugi.com; on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ugiutilities; Twitter on www.twitter.com/ugi_utilities.

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