For Immediate Release
866-655-2237 (media hotline)
MAYS LANDING, N.J. (April 3, 2020) – April is National Safe Digging Month, and Atlantic City Electric is joining New Jersey One Call – the one-call notification center for New Jersey – to remind residents, businesses and contractors that safe digging must remain a priority to prevent damage to critical underground energy services and keep communities safe.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and New Jersey's Stay at Home Order, many residents are spending more time than ever at home. Anyone planning to use this time at home to take on a spring DIY project that involves digging must call 811 at least a few days before beginning to learn the approximate location of underground utility equipment. Taking the right steps before digging will help avoid accidental damage to underground lines that could disrupt services to surrounding neighbors, but more importantly prevent potential injury from striking an underground electric, natural gas or other utility line.
In 2019 alone, Atlantic City Electric was called to nearly 100 incidents where damage was caused to underground electric lines due to unsafe digging practices. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground equipment can result in costly repairs when gas, electric, communications, water, and sewer lines are damaged. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Landscaping, planting trees and shrubs, installing a fence or mailbox, and building a deck, pond or patio, are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.
Atlantic City Electric has nearly 2,900 miles of underground electric lines. Aside from Atlantic City Electric's lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities. Properly locating underground lines is essential to safely completing any digging job.
Residents and businesses should take the following steps if planning a digging project this spring:
When calling 811 at least three business days prior to digging, customers and contractors are connected to New Jersey One Call that will take the caller's information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the dig site to mark the approximate location of underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.
To promote safety around electric infrastructure in the communities it serves, Atlantic City Electric also reminds residents and businesses that customer-owned structures are not permitted within Atlantic City Electric's easements near overhead equipment. Customers must contact their local municipality to obtain the necessary permits prior to any construction near company-owned transmission or distribution lines.
Atlantic City Electric joins the Exelon family of companies, the other 1,700 Common Ground Alliance members, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and governors across the country in marking April as National Safe Digging Month to bring extra attention to the issue of underground utility line safety and reduce the risk of unnecessary infrastructure damage.
Visit atlanticcityelectric.com for more information on safe digging practices, or call 800-642-3780.
Readers are encouraged to visit The Source, Atlantic City Electric's online news room. For more information about Atlantic City Electric, visit atlanticcityelectric.com. Follow the company on Facebook at facebook.com/atlanticcityelectric and on Twitter at twitter.com/acelecconnect. Our mobile app is available at atlanticcityelectric.com/mobileapp.