April is National Safe Digging Month and with warmer weather approaching, New York State Gas & Electric (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) remind homeowners and contractors starting any projects that involve excavation or digging to have underground utilities marked to prevent damage. This is essential to protect themselves and others from injury and to prevent damage to underground electric lines and gas pipes.
Every year, there are dozens of incidents involving third-party damage to NYSEG and RG&E underground natural gas and electric facilities. These incidents can put people’s lives in danger and interrupt essential utility services
“Whether you are a homeowner doing a DIY digging project for the first time, or a professional excavator with years of experience, placing a location request with UDig NY at least two days before beginning your digging project is essential,” said Al Langland, Vice President of Gas Engineering, NYSEG and RG&E.
The service is free and can be scheduled by contacting UDig NY at udigny.org or by calling 811 between two and ten full working days before digging begins.
“Digging without placing a location request dramatically increases your risk of causing damage to underground utilities,” said Kevin Hopper, UDig NY executive director. “This National Safe Digging Month, I encourage anyone planning a digging project to visit udigny.org to learn more about protecting yourself and your community by placing a location request before you dig.”
Follow these tips for a safer project:
- Plan to have underground utilities marked as part of all underground construction
- Mark out the area of construction with white paint
- Call UDig NY, a free and easy service at 811 or udigny.org
- Verify all utilities listed on the UDig NY ticket have been marked or cleared prior to beginning underground construction
- Be aware privately owned utilities may be present during construction and are the homeowner’s responsibility to locate. These may include but are not limited to gas, electric, water, sewer, storm water, cable, and telecommunication service lines that are not public utilities.
- Provide adequate training and supervision on a jobsite to assure that good construction practices are followed
- Properly maintain all underground utility markings
- Hand dig in the area of underground facilities
- Provide adequate protection and support for underground facilities
- If our underground facilities are damaged or disturbed, notify RG&E at 800.743.1702 for natural gas or 800.743.1701 for electricity. NYSEG can be notified by calling 800.572.1121 for a natural gas emergency and 800.572.1131 for an electric emergency. We’ll come right away to ensure the site is safe and make repairs if required
- Use and properly install suitable backfill material around underground facilities