PSE&G Reminds Everyone to Call 811 Before They Dig

April 5, 2018

April is National Safe Digging Month

(NEWARK, N.J. – April 5, 2018) Nearly 40 percent of Americans who plan home projects that require digging this year don’t plan on calling before they dig, according to a recent national survey conducted by Common Ground Alliance. Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, reminds customers, contractors and excavators to call 811 to request a mark-out before digging to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires and cables. The service is free, and absolutely critical to avoiding injuries and disruptions to vital utility services.

“Each year, PSE&G responds to about 220 incidents because someone didn’t call before digging,” said Joe Forline, PSE&G vice president of gas operations. ”Summer and spring are the peak seasons for accidental damages to gas lines by contractors, construction workers or residents, so please put safety first and call us.”

PSE&G has more than 8,200 circuit miles of underground electric lines, and 35,000 miles of buried natural gas distribution lines. In addition to the electric and gas lines, there are other buried utility lines, including communications cables, and water and sewer lines. 

When you call 811 or 1-800-272-1000, you are automatically connected to the One Call center, which collects information about your digging project. The center then provides the information to the utility companies, who send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines in the immediate vicinity of the planned work location with flags, paint or both. After lines have been marked and you receive confirmation, you are free to carefully dig around the marked areas. In New Jersey, the marks are valid for 45 business days. The call must be made whether you are hiring a professional or planning to do the job yourself, using shovels or other hand tools.

Important information to consider:

- Call 811 at least three full business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located. Utility workers will respond and place markers where utility lines are buried, free of charge.

- If you hired a contractor, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Do not allow work to begin if the lines are not marked.

- Property owners must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within two feet of marked lines.

- Various colors are used when marking lines. To learn what each color represents and for more information, go to

- If you accidentally damage gas piping or smell gas when excavating, call 911 immediately from a safe area. Also notify PSE&G by calling 1-800-880-7734. Call before you dig is more than a good idea — it’s the law.

Click here to find out more about the importance of knowing what’s below before you start digging.


Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population.  PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability.  PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.