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National Grid Reminds Customers to Call 811 Before Digging


WALTHAM, MA – April is designated as National Safe Digging Month, and National Grid urges anyone who is planning on digging to call 811 to prevent damages to underground utilities. Whether you're planting a tree or shrub, or installing a deck or pool, every job requires a call to 811 to know what’s below before digging. National Grid remains committed to keeping the public safe by emphasizing the importance of calling 811 to avoid damages or service outages in your local community.

Nationally every nine minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone didn’t contact 811 before digging. Knowing where underground utility lines are buried before you dig will help protect you and your family. Striking a single underground utility line can cause injury, repair costs, fines, and inconvenient outages.

“Safe digging plays a critical role in ensuring the safety of our employees, public and local communities that we proudly serve each day. At National Grid, we remain focused and diligent in our commitment to deliver clean, safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas services to our customers,” said Mark Prewitt, Vice President of Pipeline Safety & Gas Compliance at National Grid. “Calling 811 before you dig will help to protect you and your family, as well as your neighbors and the local community.” 

Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. It’s not only the safe, and smart thing to do – it’s the law! A call to 811 is the best safeguard and the first line of defense to preventing strikes on underground utility lines. The depth of utility lines can vary for several reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects, and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked in each location that’s previously been marked to avoid risk.

A quick phone call to 811 several days before digging connects callers to their local call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint, or both. The service is easy to use and free of charge.

State laws mandate that 811 must be contacted a few days in advance of beginning projects that require excavation. Failure to call 811 may be punishable by fines, which in some states can be as high as $1,000 for a first offense and $10,000 for subsequent offenses.

National Grid works closely with local fire and police departments and with their strong support people are calling before they dig. Calling 811 can potentially avoid an incident that requires police and fire response.

About National Grid

About National Grid: National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram.

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