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During National Safety Month, PG&E to Host 811 Webinars to Help Customers Dig Safely and Avoid Expensive Repairs

As part of National Safety Month in June, PG&E will host two free 811 safe digging webinars to help customers “dig safe” and avoid expensive repairs, PG&E will host two free 811 safe digging webinars for homeowners and contractors. The webinar sessions will provide an overview of the 811 process and guidance for digging safely once underground utilities have been marked. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions of PG&E 811 Damage Prevention experts in each session.

WHAT:

811 Safe Digging Public Webinars

 

WHO:

PG&E Damage Prevention specialists will lead the sessions

 

WHEN:

Wednesday, June 1

3:30 P.M. to 4:00 P.M.

 

Saturday, June 4

10:00 A.M. to 10:30 A.M.

 

WHERE:

Visit PGE.com/811 for links to each 811 webinar

Underground utility lines can be shallow, sometimes only a few inches below the surface, due to erosion, previous digging projects, shifting or settling of the ground and uneven surfaces. And damaging an underground utility line is dangerous and can leave customers responsible for repair costs averaging $3,500 and up. Calling 811 is free and easy, and professional utility workers will respond within two business days to mark the location of underground utility lines for your project site.

“During warmer months, we see an alarming increase in damages to underground gas and electric lines caused by even small digging projects, like planting, fence repair and landscaping. Customers should call 811 before any digging project, no matter how large or small to have the location of underground lines marked so that you can keep your family and neighbors safe and avoid expensive repair costs should you strike an underground line while digging,” said PG&E Gas Operations Senior Vice President Joe Forline.

By the Numbers

  • During 2021, 811 was not called in advance in 89 percent of incidents when homeowners damaged an underground utility line while digging
  • The average cost to repair a damaged utility line is $3,500
  • Leading causes of damages to underground utility lines while digging include: building or replacing a fence, gardening and landscaping, planting a tree or removing a stump, sewer and irrigation work and building a deck or patio

Calling 811 is Fast and Free

  • Customers should call 811 a minimum of two business days before beginning any project that involves digging, no matter how large or small. Customers can also visit 811express.com to have underground utility lines marked for their project site.
  • Professional utility workers for all utilities (gas, electric, water, sewer and telecommunications) will be dispatched to mark the location of all underground utility lines for the project site with flags, spray paint, or both
  • The 811 call center serving Central and Northern California, USA North, is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide Spanish and other translation services.

PG&E safe digging tips

  • Mark project area in white: Identify the digging location by drawing a box around the area using white paint, white stakes, white flags, white chalk or even white baking flour.
  • Call 811 or submit an online request a minimum of two working days before digging: Be prepared to provide the address and general location of the project, project start date and type of digging activity. PG&E and other utilities will identify underground facilities in the area for free. Requests can be submitted a maximum of 14 days prior to the start of the project.
  • Dig safely: Use hand tools when digging within 24 inches of the outside edge of underground lines. Leave utility flags, stakes or paint marks in place until the project is finished. Backfill and compact the soil.
  • Be aware of signs of a natural gas leak: Smell for a “rotten egg” odor, listen for hissing, whistling or roaring sounds and look for dirt spraying into the air, bubbling in a pond or creek and dead/dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area.

About National Safety Month

National Safety Month was established by the National Safety Council as an annual observance to help keep each other safe from the workplace to anyplace. For over 100 years, the National Safety Council has been a leading non-profit safety advocate in the United States, working to keep people safe, from the workplace to anyplace.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.

Contacts

Media Relations:

415-973-5930

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