Department of Public Utilities Joins National Campaign to Raise Awareness of Safe Digging Practices


BOSTON – August 10, 2016 – In recognition of National 811 Day tomorrow, the
Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities is joining with utility companies in
reminding Massachusetts homeowners and contractors not to «dig blind» and to call
8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked before starting any outdoor digging

Calling 811 connects homeowners and contractors to Dig Safe, Inc., the local
one-call center, which notifies gas, electric, telephone and cable companies of the
intended digging project. At no cost to the homeowner or contractor, professional
locators are then sent to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations
of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Accidently striking an underground line can cause serious injury and costly service
disruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to
811. Installing a mailbox, installing a pool, building a deck and planting a tree
are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

«Contacting 811 before a digging project is the most simple and effective way to
prevent accidents,» said Department of Public Utilities Chairwoman Angie O’Connor.
«The call is not only simple and free, it’s the law.»

In Massachusetts, calling 811 at least three days before beginning an excavation is
required by state law and regulations. Failure to follow the provisions of the law
and regulations can result in fines of up to $10,000.

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion,
previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly
marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an
underground utility line still exists.

For more information about 811 and safe digging practices, homeowners and
contractors are encourages to visit or