For Immediate Release
PHILADELPHIA (August 11, 2016) – Today, 8/11, serves as a natural reminder for all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground 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. More than 125 incidents occurred last year alone on the PECO system because some failed to call before digging.
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. Customers and contractors also are required to call 811 before clearing blocked sewer lines to determine if any utility lines are nearby as well.
PECO has nearly 9,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines, 12,000 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 service may still have utility lines running below ground.
When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to PA One Call, the state's coordinator for utility line marking. PA One Call will collect information about the project and provide it to PECO and other member utilities. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities. Calls are required at least three business days in advance of digging.
Once lines are located, customers and contractors doing work 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 recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share 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 peco.com/safety.
Based in Philadelphia, PECO is an electric and natural gas utility subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC). The company's 2,400 dedicated employees provide advanced, innovative energy solutions to 1.6 million electric and more than 511,000 natural gas customers in southeastern Pennsylvania. In 2015 PECO delivered 86.9 billion cubic feet of natural gas and 38 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $4.5 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting more than 9,600 local jobs and producing $760 million in labor income. 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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