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For Immediate Release


Aaron Koos

BGE Reminds You to Call Miss Utility at 811 Before You Dig

August 11 (8/11) is National Call Before You Dig Day

BALTIMORE, Aug. 11, 2015– Today, 8/11, serves as a natural reminder for all customers and contractors to call 811 to have underground utility lines marked before digging. Nationwide, every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices. To emphasize 811 Day, BGE arranges its downtown Baltimore headquarter window lights in an 811 pattern.

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 digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps. Approximately 16,000 circuit miles of BGE’s power lines are located underground—more than 60 percent the electric distribution system. There are also nearly 14,000 miles of BGE underground gas pipes throughout central Maryland. In addition to BGE’s lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities.

Even properties that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground. When calling 811, homeowners 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 are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. Once lines are located, excavators also 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. Once utility lines are marked, excavators must proceed carefully. The best bet is to redesign a project to avoid digging anywhere near marked underground utilities. Hand dig with extreme caution and never use mechanized excavation equipment within 18 inches of marked utilities. Even hand tools like shovels, picks and digging bars can easily damage underground lines.

BGE joins its Exelon sister utilities, ComEd in Chicago and PECO in Philadelphia, in marking National Call Before You Dig Day. BGE, ComEd and PECO are members of the Common Ground Alliance and share best practices to promote safe excavation and lower instances of damage to underground lines.

Visit for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

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BGE, headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland’s largest natural gas and electric utility, delivering power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

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