PG&E Reminds Homeowners, Contractors to Always Call 8-1-1 Before Digging
A Free Service Helps to Keep Communities Safe
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --Every six minutes in America, an
underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without
first making the free call to 8-1-1. Ahead of the 2014 construction season,
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) reminds California homeowners and
contractors to make a free call to 8-1-1 at least two business days before any
digging project. The free service helps get all underground utility lines
properly marked for projects big and small.
"Contacting a Regional Notification Center is a state requirement, not an
option," said Contractor State License Board (CSLB) Registrar of Contractors,
Steve Sands. "We encourage consumers as well as our 300,000 contractors to
always call 8-1-1 before beginning any type of digging project to avoid safety
and financial risks."
April is National Safe Digging Month and serves as a reminder that safe
digging prevents serious injuries, repair costs and inconvenient outages.
In almost every case, these accidents can be avoided with a simple call. Even
when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility
line still exists.
"We're really stepping up our damage prevention efforts this year," said Nick
Stavropoulos, Executive Vice President of Gas Operations at PG&E. "In 2013
alone, there more than 2,000 incidents of damages to our gas and electric
lines as a result of unsafe digging practices. Calling 8-1-1 before you dig
shows a commitment to safety and your community."
Whether the project is commercial construction with heavy excavating
equipment, a residential fence installation or even a backyard spring planting
project, calling 8-1-1 two business days prior to digging enhances public
safety. Callers are connected to a local call center, which notifies the
appropriate utility companies—such as PG&E— of the intent to dig. Professional
locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the locations of
underground lines. Once lines have been accurately marked, hand digging can
begin around marked lines.
For more information about 8-1-1 and safe digging practices, visit
In keeping with the spirit of National Safe Digging Month, PG&E offers these
tips for safe excavation:
oCall 8-1-1 at least 2 working days before and up to 14 calendar days in
advance of an excavation or digging project.
oCustomers will receive a list of notified utilities that may have
underground lines in the area. If you believe a utility may not have
marked its lines, call 8-1-1 again.
oOn paved surfaces, mark the proposed excavation area with white
chalk-based paint. Homeowners can also use other white substances such as
sugar or flour.
oOn unpaved surfaces use flags or stakes to mark the proposed excavation
oCarefully hand excavate within 24 inches on either side of a
utility-marked facility. Digging even a few inches can pose some risks of
striking a utility line.
oBe careful not to erase facility marks—that were indicated by the
professional locator— while working. If you cannot see the markings, call
8-1-1 and request a remarking.
o8-1-1 requests are active for 28 days. Call 8-1-1 if work continues beyond
oImmediately notify utilities about any type of contact or damage to wires
oIf there is any damage to PG&E electric wires or gas pipelines, or if
there is a possible gas leak, take these steps:
oMove to a safe location
oCall PG&E at 1-800-743-5000
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:
PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the
United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the
company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in
Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and
Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oyZJk6KjaE
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
Contact: Corporate Relations, 415.973.5930
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