PITTSBURGH – April is National Safe Digging Month and Peoples Natural Gas, an Essential Utilities, Inc., company, urges everyone to Call 811 at least three business days before digging, this month and beyond – no matter how small or simple the work may seem.
Thousands of landscaping and home improvement projects kick off in the spring, making it critical for contractors and Peoples customers to take advantage of the Pennsylvania 811 One Call system to avoid potentially dangerous situations and obey the law. Contractors are required to Call 811 on behalf of their customers, but the service is not just for major projects. Planting trees and bushes, or installing a mailbox or basketball hoop, requires an 811 call just as much as building a swimming pool or installing a fence.
“Calling 811 before digging begins is essential to keep our communities safe,” said Lynda Petrichevich, Peoples Senior Director of Process Operations. “Natural gas pipelines run under streets, sidewalks, yards and homes. What is out of sight cannot be out of mind because the most frequent cause of gas incidents is when lines are hit and damaged. We urge all Pennsylvanians to take the extra step for safety and call 811 before you dig.”
The Pennsylvania 811 call system is free to homeowners. The process is simple:
  • Use Pennsylvania 811 by calling 811 or 1-800-242-1776 (for out of state callers) at least three (3) business days before the planned start of digging;
  • Peoples and other utility companies serving your home will be notified, and send locators out to mark the location of any underground lines;
  • During the project, respect the markings and excavate with due care; and
  • In the event of any damage to pipelines, line markers, locator wires or warning tape, promptly notify the appropriate utility.
In 2023, the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them, and their communities, issued its “50 in 5” industry challenge to reduce damages to critical underground utilities by 50% in 5 years. The CGA says that effective and consistent use of calling 811 is critical in achieving this goal and preventing damage to infrastructure that has the potential to cripple communities and cause injury or even loss of life.
Peoples is a longtime supporter of Pennsylvania 811 and strongly encourages everyone this National Safe Digging Month: Call Before You Dig! For more safe digging advice, visit

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