Call 811 Before You Dig: It is the Law!

Call 811 Before You Dig: It is the Law!

11, 2017, O&R urges everyone from construction contractors to municipal excavators and landscapers to homeowners to Call 811 Before You Dig.

Today is August 11 – or 811 Day – and Verizon once again is highlighting the importance of calling 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Utility companies then send out professional locators to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or paint. More than just a phone call away, 811 provides community members and professionals the freedom of online reporting through the Single Ticket Program, i-Notice, and Automated Positive Response (APR).

"It is critically important to call 8-1-1 before you dig to get all utilities marked", said Robert De Marinis, National Grid vice president of New York Gas Operations. "We do not want anyone's project to become part of this statistic".

Contractors, excavators, landscapers and homeowners must call 811 at least two to 10 working days before the project is due to begin.

This gives representatives time to mark the appropriate lines and notify utility companies to avoid hitting an underground utility line. "Still, even with that record number of calls, 44 percent of the damage to our electric facilities in 2016 occurred because someone did not call 811 before digging".

Striking a single line can cause injury, fix costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and even small projects like planting trees or shrubs are all examples of digging projects that require a call to 811 before starting.

The commission routinely monitors the utilities' gas emergency plans to make sure that they are up to date, to identify improvement areas, and to ensure that the plans are in compliance with the commission's gas safety requirements, they said in their release.

The Utility Coordinating Committee Damage Prevention Council will be hosting "811 Night with the Redwings" from 6 to 11 tonight at Frontier Field, 1 Morrie Silver Way, Rochester. PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and in the Rockaways.

If you see an active excavation site or digging project, but you don't see flags or painted markings, please call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 and report the location.

For more information on 811, visit