Trenton, NJ – In recognition of National 811 Day which promotes safe digging awareness, the New Jersey Utilities Association (NJUA) reminds customers, contractors and excavators across New Jersey to call 811 three full business days before any digging project to request a mark-out to avoid hitting underground public utility lines, wires, cables and pipes. The service is free, and absolutely critical to avoiding injuries and disruptions to vital utility services.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to New Jersey One Call, the state’s one call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. According to the Common Ground Alliance, every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811.
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 to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811.
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.