PSEG Long Island has issued an announcement to remind customers, contractors, and excavators to “call before you dig,” even when planting a tree or building a deck, to avoid hitting underground pipelines, conduits, wires, and cables.
Professionals and do-it-yourselfers should first call 811, the designated national phone number to have underground lines located and marked before projects begin around a home or business. Striking a single line can cause serious injuries and outages, PSEG said, which may lead to repair costs and fines. The company advised property owners to dig by hand within two feet of marked lines to find underground electrical materials before beginning work with mechanical equipment.
“Spring is the time of year when many of us begin making improvements to our homes and businesses. Calling 811 ahead of time helps to protect underground lines and the safety of anyone digging on their properties,” said John O’Connell, PSEG Long Island's vice president of transmission and distribution operations. “People are getting the message. Last year there were more than 227,000 mark-out requests, and so far this year, there have been more than 40,000 requests to 811.”
A free call to 811 on the East End will connect the caller to the local New York one-call center, which gives utility companies necessary information about digging plans so they can, in turn, send representatives to mark the locations of nearby underground lines with flags, paint or both. Projects may proceed as long as caution is used around the marked areas, said PSEG.