BALTIMORE — April is National Safe Digging Month and BGE reminds all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging. Nationwide, every eight minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811.
Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to Miss Utility at 811. And, for most digging projects, calling Miss Utility is the law. 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.
BGE has nearly 16,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines and more than 7,000 miles of buried of natural gas lines throughout the central Maryland region. In addition to BGE’s lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines and other utilities. Even properties that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground.
When calling 811, 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. Calls are required at least two business days in advance of digging.
Once lines are located, excavators must also 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.
For information about digging safely, including how to get lines marked and what to do after lines are marked, watch BGE’s Dig Smart video at: www.bge.com/DigSmart.