NEWARK, Del. (August 9, 2018) – This Saturday, 8/11, serves as a reminder for all customers and contractors to call 811 before digging so utility-owned underground lines can be identified and marked. While incidents of damage to Delmarva Power’s electric and natural gas systems have been reduced by 35 percent since 2014, an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes nationwide.
The Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811phone number and safe digging practices, reminds everyone that 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.
Delmarva Power has more than 6,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines in Delaware and Maryland. Additionally, there are more than 3,300 miles of natural gas distribution mains and service lines throughout New Castle County, Delaware. Aside from Delmarva Power’s lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities. Properly locating underground lines is essential to safely completing any digging job.
Delmarva Power is committed to promoting safe digging practices and each year conducts outreach to thousands of contractors and excavators across the state to share safe digging tips and best practices. To help raise awareness on National Call Before You Dig Day, Delmarva Power will be supporting the Miss Utility of Delmarva 811 5k in Milford, Delaware. Delmarva Power’s efforts to raise awareness have helped reduce damage to underground natural gas equipment by 20 percent over the last five years.
When calling 811 at least two business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to Miss Utility to provide information about their project. Miss Utility will notify Delmarva Power and all member utilities of your plan to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities.
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 can indicate the presence of underground lines.
Delmarva Power joins the Exelon family of companies 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 lower instances of damage to underground lines.
For information on digging safely, including how to get lines marked and what to do after lines are marked, watch Delmarva Power’s Safe Digging video. You can also get more information on safe digging by visiting www.delmarva.com or by calling Delmarva Power at 1-800-375-7117.