Robert D. Biagiotti, VP, Gas Distribution Operations & Planning, BGE
August 11 is 8/11 on the calendar, a good time to remember the importance of calling Miss Utility at 811 before you dig. Although we mark 811 Day this month and National Safe Digging Month in April, smart digging requires a year-round commitment to always call 811 before any digging—landscaping, gardening, construction or other projects that involve excavation.
BGE has thousands of miles of buried power lines and gas pipelines throughout central Maryland, and our pipes and wires are just some of what is underground. In addition to our electric and gas lines, buried services include cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone, water and sewer. Annually, there are 165,000 underground utilities damaged nationwide, and one out of every three incidents is the result of not calling 811. BGE’s ongoing commitment to 811 is visible on all of our vehicles, which now carry the 811 logo.
Careless digging is extremely dangerous. Striking an underground line can seriously harm you or those around you and result in serious damage to buried utilities, causing inconvenient outages of critical services for entire neighborhoods. You may also be potentially liable for significant fines and repair costs. Never assume you know what is below ground. Always call 811 before you dig. It’s simple.
Here’s how it works:
- One free, simple phone call to 811 makes it easy for Miss Utility to notify all appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig.
- Call at least two full business days (but not more than ten days) prior to digging to ensure enough time for utility lines to be properly marked.
- When you call 811, a representative from Miss Utility will ask for the location and description of your digging project.
- Miss Utility will notify BGE and other affected utility companies, and a professional locator will be dispatched to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of any underground lines.
- Once lines have been properly marked, carefully hand dig with a shovel around the marked areas. Better yet, consider designing your project to avoid digging anywhere near the underground facilities. Never use mechanized equipment within 18 inches of marks or exposed underground pipes or wires.
- Remember that utility marks will not indicate depth—settling ground, erosion and other factors can cause the depth or exact location of underground pipes and wires to change over time.
BGE is committed to preventing damages that create hazardous situations and interrupt reliable services. We need your help. So, this 8/11 make your support for 811 official by signing the 811 Promise
to call before you dig. Also, check out BGE’s Dig Smart video
on safer digging practices. For more information, visit the national 811 website
or the Miss Utility
Maryland website. Thank you.