For Immediate Release
PHILADELPHIA (April 6, 2015) – April is National Safe Digging Month, and PECO reminds 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.
Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe 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.
PECO has nearly 9,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines, 12,000 miles of natural gas distribution and service lines, and 31 miles of natural gas transportation lines buried throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. In addition to PECO’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, customers and contractors are connected to PA One Call to provide information about their project. PA One Call will notify PECO and all member utilities of your plan to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities. Calls are required at least three business days in advance of digging.
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.
PECO joins its Exelon sister utilities, BGE in Baltimore and ComEd in Chicago, in marking National Safe Digging Month. 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.
PECO works hard to ensure the safety of its customers, area contractors and its employees. As part of this effort, the company will launch a public safety advertising campaign to educate those who work around aerial and underground power lines during the next few months.
To learn more, visit www.peco.com/safety.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). PECO serves 1.6 million electric and more than 506,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and employs about 2,400 people in the region. PECO delivered 89.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 37.5 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2014. Founded in 1881, PECO is one of the Greater Philadelphia Region's most active corporate citizens, providing leadership, volunteer and financial support to numerous arts and culture, education, environmental, economic development and community programs and organizations. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
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