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Friday, August 11, 2017

PUC Recognizes National 811 Day; Reminds Property Owners and Contractors to ‘Call Before You Dig’

August 11, 2017--HARRISBURG – In recognition of “National 811 Day,” the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today reminds all residents, contractors and utilities of the importance of dialing 8-1-1 before digging to help ensure the safety of excavation projects across the state.

“August 11 – or 8/11 – serves as a reminder that we all have a role to play in preventing damage to our essential underground infrastructure,” said PUC Commissioner John F. Coleman Jr. “Whether you are a contractor working on a large-scale project or a homeowner planting a new tree or installing a deck, it is essential that utilities be alerted to mark their lines before anyone starts digging.”

Commissioner Coleman emphasized the role of the Pennsylvania One Call System (PA One Call), which alerts all utilities within an intended digging area and prompts them to mark where the utilities are located on the property. Pennsylvanians can dial 8-1-1 to connect with the system, while non-Pennsylvania residents can dial 1-800-242-1776.

Hits on underground utility lines pose a danger to workers and residents, and also cause service interruptions, environmental pollution and costly repairs to damaged lines. The PUC’s goal is to reduce the number of these hits in Pennsylvania, which currently occur about 6,000 times per year, and to diminish the risks and costs related to those incidents.

Pennsylvania law requires contractors and residents to contact PA One Call at least three business days prior to excavation. The PA One Call service is provided at no cost to customers. For more information, visit www.pa1call.org/.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

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