By Teresa Jimenez
In honor of National Safe Digging Month this April, PG&E encourages everyone planning excavation projects big and small to get a free safe-digging ticket using the new and convenient tool: 811express.com.
Customers, excavators and contractors are urged to take just one minute and use the online service on desktop, mobile phone or tablet at least two days prior to excavation. Utilities will be dispatched to the site to mark underground utility lines so that unsafe digging threatening gas and underground services can be avoided.
Customers and excavators can still make a free call to 811 to request underground utility markings. The two-day business requirement applies. Both services cost nothing to customers.
“Keeping the public and our workers safe is job No. 1,” said Jesus Soto, senior vice president of PG&E’s gas operations. “Regardless of how Californians want to submit their free underground utility markings request before they dig, we urge everyone to use the service and take excavation seriously. Not using 811 can threaten the safety of the people we care about — our employees, our families and our neighbors. I’m proud that keeping people safe has gotten simpler — it’s now just one click away.”
811 is a free nationwide service that sends utilities to mark the presence of underground lines, including gas, electric, water and fiber optic services. Underground Service Alert (USA) North, which operates 811 in PG&E’s service area, created 811express.com to reduce demand to the 811 call line and provide a convenient way for the public to request utility markings.
“We all want to get things done from the convenience of our cell phone or computer. 811express.com provides the same safety and reliability as a traditional ticket, but with the the convenience of today’s technology,” said Collin Miyadi with USA North. “811express.com is one of the ways we have improved the ticket process using technology.”
Homeowners and contractors can prevent gas leaks and power outages while protecting themselves and the safety of their community by requesting a USA ticket. Contractors are required by law to contact 811 at least two working days prior to excavation, but any digging project requires a USA ticket, including planting a tree in the yard or setting posts for a picket fence. In addition to creating a possible safety hazard, failing to contact 811 may result in costly fines and project delays.
The top four cities for dig-ins to utility lines without a call to 811 are:
- Sacramento: 125
- Oakland: 95
- San Francisco: 67
- Fresno: 57
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.