Rochester Gas and Electric and New York State Electric and Gas are reminding contractors that every excavation project requires a call to Dig Safely New York at 811.
Customers working on home projects also are encouraged to call 811 whenever they are digging.
There are 100 billion feet of utility lines buried underground in the U.S. These include natural gas, electric, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed internet and landline telephone. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before digging will help protect everyone from injury.
Three dozen incidents every year involve third-party damage to RG&E and NYSEG underground natural gas and electric facilities. These incidents can put lives in danger, are costly and can interrupt utility service.
“Something as seemingly harmless as a pick, tent stake or small excavator can cause serious damage to underground facilities,” said Dennis Bender, director of gas operations at NYSEG and RG&E. “Our goal is to meet the needs of our communities while keeping everyone safe.”
Examples of when to call 811 include landscaping; digging holes for fence posts, signs or a mailbox; anchoring supports for decks and swingsets; planting trees; removing tree roots; driving stakes into the ground; and installing a retaining wall.
Call 811 two working days and not more than 10 working days before starting a project that involves excavation. Once the call is made, Dig Safely New York will schedule free mark outs of the underground utilities in the work area.
Dig Safely New York also can be reached at and (800) 962-7962.