This April marks the 11th annual National Safe Digging Month, and Delmarva Power recently reminded customers and contractors to call 811 to have underground lines marked before digging.

Striking an underground electric or natural gas pipe can cause injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.

Delmarva Power has more than 6,000 miles of underground electric lines in Delaware and Maryland and more than 3,300 miles of natural gas distribution mains and distribution service lines buried throughout New Castle County. More than 300 of Delmarva Power’s underground electric and gas lines were struck by preventable dig-ins in 2017, which could have been avoided by calling 811. Properly locating underground lines is essential to safely completing any digging job.

When calling 811 at least two business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to Miss Utility to provide information about their project. Miss Utility will notify Delmarva Power and all member utilities of a plan to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities.

Excavators also must understand the markings and look for evidence of unmarked lines, such as water and sewer lines on private property. Sewer clean-outs and water valve covers are examples of equipment that can indicate the presence of underground lines.

For more, visit delmarva.com or call 800-375-7117.