NJUA encourages people to make a free call three days before digging to know what’s below
Trenton, NJ – With August 11 approaching, the New Jersey Utilities Association hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a reminder to call 811 prior to any digging project, so that underground utility lines can be properly marked. Every hour, there are more than six times that buried utilities are damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to New Jersey One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.
New Jersey law requires that anyone digging call 811 at least three full business days prior to beginning work. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
“On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Andrew Hendry, NJUA president and CEO. “New Jersey’s utilities invest billions of dollars in underground infrastructure. Calling 811 for a mark out is the only way to know where that buried infrastructure is located and the best way to avoid damaging it.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Even when digging only a few inches, utilities need to be properly “marked out” first, as the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.