Be Safe, Be Smart and Know What’s Below – BGE Reminds You to Call 811 Before You Dig

August 11 (8/11) is National Call Before You Dig Day

BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, 8/11, serves as a natural reminder for all customers and
contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked
before digging. Nationwide, every six minutes someone damages an
underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811,
according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that
promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices. More than 150
incidents occurred last year alone on the BGE system because someone
failed to call before digging.

Striking an underground electric or natural gas line can cause serious
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.
Customers and contractors also are required to call 811 before clearing
blocked sewer lines to determine if any utility lines are nearby as well.

BGE has nearly 16,000 circuit miles of underground electric lines—more
than 60 percent of the electric distribution system. Additionally, there
are nearly 14,000 miles of BGE natural gas distribution and service
lines throughout central Maryland. Aside from BGE’s lines, there are
underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other
utilities. Even properties that are not served by a particular service
may still have utility lines running below ground.

When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to Miss
Utility, the local one-call center, which notifies BGE and other
utilities of the intent to dig at a location. The utilities’
professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to
mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray
paint or both. Once lines are located, customers and contractors doing
work 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. Once lines are marked,
customers and contractors must proceed carefully. Hand dig with caution
and never use mechanized excavation equipment within 18 inches of marked

BGE joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call
Before You Dig Day and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to
share best practices to promote safe excavation and decrease instances
of damage to underground lines. The company also provides customers and
local contractors with important information about safety around
overhead and underground utility lines through mailings, customer
newsletters, social media and print advertising.

To learn more, visit

founded in 1816 as the nation’s first gas utility, is Maryland’s largest
natural gas and electric utility. Headquartered in Baltimore, BGE
delivers power to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more
than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. The company’s
approximately 3,200 employees are committed to the safe and reliable
delivery of natural gas and electricity, as well as enhanced energy
management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community
assistance. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the
nation’s leading competitive energy provider. Like us on
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Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (BGE)
Justin Mulcahy,
Media Hotline: 410.470.7433