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Posted on: April 11, 2017

Call BEFORE you dig! 811

PHILADELPHIA, April 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- This April marks the 10th annual National Safe Digging Month and PECO reminds all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging.  Nationwide, every six minutes there is damage to an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices. CGA also reports that damages to underground lines have been reduced by 54 percent since the inception of National Safe Digging Month.

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 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.

PECO has nearly 9,000 miles of underground electric lines, 13,000 miles of natural gas distribution and service lines, and 30 miles of natural gas transportation lines buried throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to PECO’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 PA One Call to provide information about their project. PA One Call will notify PECO and all member utilities of your plan to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities. Calls are required at least three business days in advance of digging.

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. 

PECO 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.

PECO also is a proud sponsor of PA One Call’s PA Firehouse 811 campaign.  The campaign encourages fire stations across Pennsylvania to help promote “Call 811 Before You Dig” in their communities. Stations are encouraged to post creative 811 messages on their marquee and to take a photo and email it to PA One Call at contact@pa1call.org for a chance to win a monthly prize of $500 through November 2017.

PECO works hard to ensure the safety of our customers, contractors and employees. As part of this effort, the company will launch a public safety advertising campaign to educate those who work around aerial and underground power lines during the next few months.

To learn more, visit peco.com/safety.
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