Lake County News,California – Doing landscaping? Don’t forget to call 811

NORTH COAST, California – With the arrival of spring, many Californians are considering starting projects to make their outdoor spaces more livable, and many of those projects have to be dug.

To ensure these projects can be carried out safely and without disruption to essential utility services that we all depend on to stay connected during the ongoing pandemic, April is recognized as National Safe Digging Month.

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and more than 1,000 other utility companies are supporting this nationwide public safety initiative to help raise awareness of the importance of calling 811 to have underground utility lines marked prior to any excavation project.

During the pandemic, many homeowners are using their extra time at home completing projects that need digging. This is the result of a recent national survey carried out by the Common Ground Alliance.

In fact, the survey shows that one in five homeowners (20%) since the pandemic began more likely to do home improvement with digging – especially gardening projects, and 56% of homeowners planning to plant a tree or shrub this year they said that they would be more likely to dig if they had extra time at home.

The most popular planned projects named among homeowners surveyed looking to dig include:

– Planting a tree or shrub: 62%.
– Construction of a fence: 37%.
– Construction of a deck or terrace: 32%.
– Install a mailbox: 20%.
– Installation of a pool: 6%.
– One more thing: 26%.

Of the million homeowners looking to dig this year for projects like gardening, fencing or decking, installing a mailbox, and more, nearly two in five (37%) are putting themselves and their communities at risk by digging 811 in advance without contacting them Find out the approximate location of the underground utilities.

“With millions of Californians relying on critical utilities at work and home learning, it is of the utmost importance that everyone call 811 toll free before digging. Our locating and marking crews are on site and every day To help ensure that excavation projects of all sizes can be carried out safely with no harm to life, health or property. Whether your project is large or small, from repairing a driveway to installing a fence post. Call 811 three business days prior to excavation to locate underground locations. The labeled gas or power lines will protect you, your family, and your neighbors, and avoid potentially costly repairs, ”said Joe Forline, senior vice president of gas operations at PG&E.

According to the Common Ground Alliance damage information tool, an underground utility line is damaged every nine minutes in the United States. That adds up to more than 200,000 preventable underground utility hits across the country each year. PG&E urges customers to prevent dig-ins by making a toll-free call to 811 or making an online request to have gas and power lines tagged free of charge three working days prior to the start of the project.

Important facts

– In 2020, Northern and Central California had over 1,400 third-party excavations in PG&E underground infrastructure.
– Of the more than 1,400 excavations, almost 800 were due to the fact that 811 were not used for the prior marking of gas and power lines.
– Of third-party excavations (clients or construction teams) on PG&E lines in 2020, excavations in residential areas accounted for 31%.
– In 91% of the residential excavations, 811 were not called in advance.
– In 2020 there were 21 accidental strikes on gas pipelines in the counties of the north coast: Humboldt, 16; Mendocino, 5; Lake, 0.

811 is a toll-free number for homeowners and professional excavators and is served by regional offices. Operators who answer calls and emails send out all necessary utilities to properly color or flag underground utilities. The Underground Service Alert in Northern / Central California and Nevada (North US) is manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week and offers Spanish and other translation services.

Tips for safely digging PG&E:

Mark project area in white: Identify the dig site by drawing a box around the area using white paint, white stakes, white flags, white chalk, or even white baking flour.

Call 811 or go online three business days before digging to get a USA ticket: include the address and general location of the project, the project start date, and the type of digging activity. PG&E and other utilities will identify underground facilities in the area for free.

Dig Safely: Use hand tools when digging within 24 inches of the outside edge of underground utilities. Leave utility flags, stakes, or paint markings in place until the project is complete. Fill and compact the soil.

Note the lines: if the utility line is visible, dig parallel to the utility line and take all precautions when removing the soil around the utility line.

Look out for signs of a natural gas leak: smell of a “rotten egg” smell, listen for hissing, whistling, or roaring noises, and look for debris spraying in the air, bubbling in a pond or stream, and in another state dead / dying vegetation shows humid areas.

PG&E urges customers to call 911 and then PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if there is a suspicion of a gas leak. If a gas line is accidentally crushed, scraped, or otherwise damaged, those in the vicinity must immediately leave and alert others to avoid the area. Objects that can generate sparks may only be used at a safe distance, e.g. B. mobile phones, matches, garage door openers, vehicles or garden tools.

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