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Can you dig it? Better call 811 to have PSEG mark your utility lines first

Building a deck that requires footings? Landscaping with new bushes, trees or a flower bed? Putting up a fence or mailbox? Don’t put a shovel in the ground before you call 811 to have your utility lines marked out by PSEG-LI.

Nearly 40 percent of the damages to the electric facilities on Long Island last year were caused by someone damaging buried utility lines while digging because they hadn’t had their utility lines marked out first.

April is National Safe Digging Month. As a reminder, PSEG-LI wants you to know that marking utility lines before you dig is a free service – and it’s required by NYS law. You must call 811 at least two days and not more than 10 days ahead of the planned excavation work.

PSE&G Long Island marked out more than 150,000 utility lines in 2015. The utility company has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and in the Rockaways. In addition to the electric service lines, there are buried communications cables and natural gas, water and sewer lines.

Hitting and damaging buried conduits, pipelines, wires or cables is easy to do because they can be buried only a few inches underground. A single misplaced thrust of a shovel can cause serious costly service outages and potentially injurious damage. Erosion and root growth from nearby trees or bushes can shift lines from their original positions, so each time you plan to dig, you need to call 811 and have the lines re-marked.

Even if you are hiring a contractor to do the planned work, the lines need to be marked. Check with the company you hired to make sure it has called 811. As the homeowner, you may share liability for damages caused by professionals hired to do the work.

PSE&G says it wants you to remember that “safe digging is no accident.”

Source:Press release issued by PSE&G dated April 18, 2016.