Can you dig it? only if you call 8-1-1 before starting

NEWARK, NJ — For National 811 Day on Aug. 11, PSE&G reminds customers that it is the law to dial 8-1-1 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 8-1-1 will ensure customers know what’s below their shovel.

“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, a process analyst for gas distribution and field construction. “Many of the damages that PSE&G responds to on a regular basis are completely avoidable. A call to 8-1-1 is the safe, smart thing to do and it is the law.”

Every digging project, no matter how small, requires a call to 8-1-1 at least three, and no more than 10, business days before work begins. 8-1-1 is the designated national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked out before improvement work begins around a 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 8-1-1 beforehand.

When you call 8-1-1, 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 and 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.