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Every digging project, no matter how large or small, contact 8-1-1.

<strong>Every digging project, no matter how large or small, contact 8-1-1.</strong>

In observance of National Safe Digging Month in April, Pennsylvania 811 is encouraging homeowners and professional excavators to contact 811 at least 3 business days before digging, so that the approximate location of underground utility lines can be identified and marked by the facility owners in advance.

“A facility owner provides the approximate position of their underground lines at the excavation site within eighteen inches horizontally from the outside edge of a line or facility,” said Bill Kiger, Pennsylvania 811, President/Chief Executive Officer. “Within the tolerance zone an excavator employs prudent excavation techniques. This may involve hand-dug test holes until the utility line is exposed, or use of vacuum excavation. If an excavator damages a line with a spoon, they’re not using prudent techniques.”

Underground lines are often “out of sight, out of mind,” which can pose a risk to contractors and homeowners. Contacting 8-1-1 at least 3 business days before digging is the best way to eliminate injuries to the general public and contractors on excavation projects. In addition, it eliminates potential property damages, and inconvenient utility outages as a result of striking an underground facility.