PG&E urges use of 811 before digging

Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.
·1 min read

Apr. 9—The Pacific Gas and Electric Company is encouraging Californians thinking of starting projects that require digging to call 811 first to ensure underground utility lines are marked in advance.

A recent study conducted by the Common Ground Alliance showed that many homeowners are using their extra time at home due to the pandemic to complete projects that require digging — one in five homeowners have been more likely to do a DIY home improvement involving digging, particularly gardening projects. The most popular planned projects included planting a tree or shrub (62 percent), building a fence (37 percent), building a deck or patio (32 percent), installing a mailbox (20 percent), installing a pool (6 percent), or something else (26 percent).

PG&E stated that digging without contacting 811 beforehand puts the individual and their community at risk.

"Our locate and mark crews are in the field every day helping to ensure digging projects of all sizes can proceed safely, without risk to life, health or property. Whether your project is large or small, from repaving a driveway to installing a fencepost, calling 811 three working days before excavating to have the locations of underground gas or electric lines marked will help keep you, your family and your neighbors safe and help you avoid potentially costly repairs," said Joe Forline, PG&E senior vice president of gas operations, in a press release.

In 2020, there were over 1,400 third-party dig-ins on PG&E's underground infrastructure across Northern and Central California. Of those, nearly 800 resulted from not using 811 to have gas and electric lines marked in advance. Residential dig-ins accounted for 31 percent of those.