Can You Dig It? Only if You Call 811 Before Starting
For National 811 Day, PSE&G reminds the public to make the free call and help prevent utility emergencies
(NEWARK, N.J. – August 8, 2022) For National 811 Day, Aug. 11 (8/11), PSE&G reminds customers it is the law to dial 811 before starting an improvement project that involves digging. Hitting a buried electric, gas, water or cable line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, and cause severe injury or death. One free call to 811 will ensure customers "know what’s below."
“Keeping underground pipelines and other materials safe is extremely important for you and for the environment, yet hundreds of people and contractors continue to dig each year without checking first,” said Chelsey Van Heest, process analyst, Gas Distribution & Field Construction. “Many of the damages that PSE&G responds to on a regular basis are completely avoidable. A call to 811 is the safe, smart thing to do and it is the law.”
Every digging project, no matter how small, requires a call to 811 at least three, and no more than 10, business days before work begins. 811 is the designated national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked out before improvement work begins around the home or business. For all projects, even planting a flowerbed, installing a mailbox or fence, or putting in an aboveground pool, it is imperative to call 811 beforehand.
When you call 811, you are automatically connected to New Jersey One Call, which collects information about your upcoming digging project. The information is provided to utility companies, who send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked, you will be notified and the digging can begin.
Last year, PSE&G responded to 884 excavating damages (713 gas, 171 electric). PSE&G continues to practice safe physical distancing protocols. Customers should be assured that underground utility markout work is performed entirely outdoors and there is no need for any interaction with the technicians.
Prevention is key:
- Call 811 at least three and no more than 10 business days before each job to have underground pipes, conduits, wires and cables located and marked. Markouts remain valid for 45 business days.
- Before work begins by excavators, contractors or customers, confirm that a call to 811 has been made and the markout was completed. By law, all digging projects require a call to 811.
- Both property owners and contractors must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within 2 feet of marked lines, or the area known as the Tolerance Zone, to find the existing facility.
- Various colors are used when marking lines; to learn what each color represents, visit https://www.nj1-call.org/resources/faqs/#color.
What to do if you smell gas:
- Leave the building as quickly as possible and move 350 feet away from the structure. Take all others with you. If you smell gas outside, move well away from where you suspect the gas is leaking.
- Call PSE&G immediately at 1-800-880-PSEG (7734) and call 911. (Do NOT call from inside the building. Wait until you are outside and a safe distance to call.)
Public Service Electric & Gas Co. is New Jersey’s oldest and largest gas and electric delivery public utility, serving three-quarters of the state’s population, as well as one of the nation’s largest utilities. PSE&G has won the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability in the Mid-Atlantic region for 20 consecutive years. PSE&G received the 2022 ENERGY STAR® “Partner of the Year” award in the Energy Efficiency Program Delivery category, and is a 2021 Customer Champion and Most Trusted Brand as named by Escalent. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a predominantly regulated infrastructure company focused on a clean energy future and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for North America for 14 consecutive years (www.pseg.com).