National Call 811-Before-You-Dig Day Reminds Residents to Exercise Safe Digging Practices

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CHICAGO, IL. August 11 is National Call 8-1-1 Before-You-Dig Day. Peoples Gas reminds residents planning late summer landscaping projects to call the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators (JULIE) 8-1-1 Hotline at least 48 hours before digging to prevent unnecessary damage to underground facilities.

JULIE is a not-for-profit corporation that provides contractors, excavators, homeowners and others a free service through a single toll-free number, 8-1-1 or (800) 892-0123 to call for the locating and marking of underground facilities. The federally mandated national 8-1-1 Call Before You Dig hotline number was created to help protect people from unintentionally damaging underground utility lines while digging.

"It's important for homeowners and contractors to understand where the underground utilities are located before excavating for their own safety and others in the area," said John Just, general manager, Field Operations. "The 8-1-1 service provides an easy and free way to learn where these facilities are prior to starting a project."

Natural gas and electric lines are buried underneath the property and could be in striking distance, even for a simple project like erecting a tent for a holiday party. Its important that contractors, workers, residents and anyone planning work that requires digging to follow pipeline safety procedures and be aware of safe digging practices.

Illinois law requires that people call 8-1-1 before beginning any project that requires digging. Projects like landscaping yard areas, installing a mailbox, building a deck or patio are among the types of projects that require a call to 8-1-1. Location specialists will come to the home or business to locate, and mark all underground utility services in the area free of charge.

PGL has approximately 4,000 miles of underground distribution and transportation natural gas pipeline in the city of Chicago. Calling 8-1-1 or DIGGERS at (312) 744-7000 for City of Chicago residents well in advance to have locates completed, will help ensure you can start your summer projects safely. People can start projects safely as planned and ensure there are no disruptions to electric or natural gas service, possibly to entire neighborhoods. A normal locate request requires 48 hours/two business days notice (excluding weekends and holidays). Work must begin within 14 days from the time of the request and is good for 28 days. For more information access the utility’s pipeline safety materials.

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