For Immediate Release
BALTIMORE (Aug. 11, 2021) – Today, 8/11, serves as a reminder for all BGE customers and contractors to call 811 before starting any outdoor project. It is important that any utility-owned underground lines are identified and marked before any work begins.
In partnership with the Common Ground Alliance, BGE urges customers to be aware that any gardening and landscaping projects can result in serious injuries, service disruptions and costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged.
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Building a deck, planting a tree, and laying a patio are all examples of projects for which calling 811 prior to digging is appropriate. Calling 811 or placing an online request before digging is free of charge and will help prevent damage to buried utility lines.
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.
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. In addition to 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.
The safety of BGE's employees, contractors and customers is paramount. With the continuing health impacts of COVID-19, we are ensuring that personnel are abiding by all CDC and state mandates on social distancing and personal hygiene guidelines.
BGE joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day. As a member of the Common Ground Alliance, BGE shares 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. For training videos and other free materials, visit BGE's Damage Prevention and Safety Training.
BGE is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility, providing safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.3 million electric customers and more than 680,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company was founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and remains headquartered in Baltimore City to this day. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Engage with the latest BGE stories on bgenow.com and connect with BGE on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.