(UNDATED) – Duke Energy is reminding its customers and communities to call 811 before digging anywhere to protect the nation’s underground utility network, prevent potential personal injury and avoid electric and natural gas outages. The company made a special plea to those under stay-at-home orders who may have more time for yard projects that involve digging.
The national “811 Call Before You Dig” system was created so anyone who plans to dig anywhere can call to have underground utility lines clearly marked. The goal of this common effort is to prevent potential injuries, disruptions in utility services and costly repairs for the offenders.
The free service is available for all property types (homes and businesses) and it notifies utility companies, which then send crews to identify and clearly mark underground electric, natural gas, water, sewer, phone, cable TV and other utility lines. Crews use above-ground stakes, flags or paint to mark restricted areas before a customer begins a digging project.
In 2019, Duke Energy reported nearly 500 incidents of damage to its underground electrical network in Indiana.
“Hitting an underground utility line can cause service interruptions and possibly injuries. To avoid this risk, we encourage all of our customers to call 811 before any digging project, no matter how large or small,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana.
In late 2019, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) issued a report stating that 509,000 excavation-related damages to underground facilities occurred nationwide in 2018, compared to the 2017 estimate of 439,000 damages. The CGA is a national organization formed in 2000 to unify all 50 states in a shared effort to prevent damage to underground utilities and infrastructure.
For more information about the national system and about the 811 office in your state, visit call811.com.
For additional information on Indiana 811, click here.