For Immediate Release
PECO reminds everyone to call 811 before any digging project, any time of year
PHILADELPHIA (April 4, 2019) – This April marks the 12th annual National Safe Digging Month and PECO reminds all customers, contractors and anyone planning a project requiring digging to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging.
Reminding everyone to call 811 before any digging project is more important than ever. A national survey conducted in March by the Common Ground Alliance, the national association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, revealed that 42 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year for DIY projects do not plan on calling 811 and will put themselves and their communities at risk. 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 more than 9,000 miles of underground electric lines, 13,000 miles of natural gas distribution and service lines, and 30 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 utility service may still have utility lines running below ground. Last year, more than 20% of all damages to PECO equipment was the result of not obtaining an 811 markout prior to digging. Properly locating underground lines is essential to safely completing any digging job.
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. There is no cost the customer or contractor for this service.
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 the Exelon family of utilities in marking National Safe Digging Month and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share best practices to promote safe excavation and lower instances of damage to underground lines.
PECO also is a proud sponsor of PA One Call's PA Firehouse 811 campaign. The campaign encourages fire stations across Pennsylvania to help promote "Call 811 Before You Dig" in their communities.
To learn more, visit peco.com/safety.
PECO, founded in 1881, is Pennsylvania's largest electric and natural gas utility. Headquartered in Philadelphia, PECO delivers energy to more than 1.6 million electric customers and more than 523,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. The company's 2,700 employees are dedicated to the safe and reliable delivery of electricity and natural gas as well as enhanced energy management conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. In 2018, PECO was named to Forbes Magazine's list of Best Employers for Women. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.8 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 9,000 local jobs and producing $775 million in labor income. PECO is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's only Fortune 100 utility and leading competitive energy provider. For more information visit PECO.com, and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
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