For Immediate Release
BGE Reminds Customers to Call 811 Before Digging
August 11 (8/11) is National Call Before You Dig Day
BALTIMORE (August 9, 2018) – This Saturday, 8/11, serves as a reminder for all customers and contractors to call 811 before digging so utility-owned underground lines can be identified and marked. While incidents of damage to BGE's natural gas system have been reduced by 30 percent since 2006, making the company one of the leading natural gas utilities for reduced damages, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes nationwide.
The Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices, reminds everyone that striking an underground electric or natural gas line 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 projects that need a call to 811 prior to digging. Customers and contractors should also call 811 before clearing blocked sewer lines.
BGE has more than 17,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines -- 65 percent of the electric distribution system. Additionally, there are nearly 14,000 miles of BGE natural gas distribution and service lines throughout central Maryland. Aside from BGE's lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities.
When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to Miss Utility, the local one-call center, which notifies BGE and other utilities of the intent to dig at a location. The utilities' professional locators then mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both at digging sites. Once lines are located, customers and contractors 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. After lines are marked, customers and contractors must proceed carefully. Hand dig with caution and never use mechanized equipment near marked utilities.
BGE joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share best practices to promote safe excavation and decrease instances of damage to underground lines. The company also provides customers and local contractors with important information about safety around overhead and underground utility lines through mailings, customer newsletters, social media and print advertising.
To learn more, visit www.bge.com/811. To access training videos and other free materials, visit BGE's Damage Prevention and Safety Training site.
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable power delivery to more than 1.28 million electric customers and more than 675,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. J.D. Power's 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study(SM) ranked BGE highest in customer satisfaction with business electric service in the east among large utilities. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.