BALTIMORE This April marks the 11th annual National Safe Digging Month, and BGE reminds all customers and contractors to call 811 to have underground lines marked before digging. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan recently proclaimedApril 2018 as National Safe Digging Month in Maryland. Nationwide, every nine minutes there is damage to an underground electric, natural gas, cable, water, sewer or other lines because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices.
Striking an underground electric line, natural gas pipe or other service line can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.
More than 60 percent of BGE’s electric lines, approximately17,000 circuit miles, are located underground and BGE manages more than 7,000 miles of buried natural gas lines in its region, many of which may cross through residential properties. Properly locating these lines is essential to safely completing a digging job.
When calling 811 at least two business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to Miss Utility to provide information about their project. Miss Utility will notify BGE and all member utilities of your plan to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities.
Once lines are located, excavators also must understand the markings and look for evidence of unmarked lines, such as water and sewer lines on private property. Sewer clean-outs and water valve covers are examples of equipment that can indicate the presence of underground lines.
BGE joins the Exelon family of utilities in marking National Safe Digging Month, and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share best practices to promote safe excavation and lower instances of damage to underground lines.
For information on digging safely, including how to get lines marked and what to do after lines are marked, watch BGE’s Dig Smart video. Excavators can also contact the BGE Damage Prevention team at 410.470.6698 to arrange for free damage prevention training.
To learn more visit: www.bge.com/811