For Immediate Release
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 www.bge.com/811 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
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