GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Before you go underground, there’s a number you need to call.
Eversource and National Grid are reminding customers to call 811 for all digging projects. 811 connects you to DigSafe, a communication network, that will have someone come to your work location and mark out all underground utilities. Those include gas pipes, water pipes, and telephone lines.
“It’s a legal thing for us if we don’t call them and have them mark everything out when we are digging for gas,” said Nick Wells of J.S. Rae. “If we hit something that’s unmarked that we didn’t call them out for, its a big fine.”
State law requires you to call DigSafe before you excavate. No matter what type of digging project it is, you’re required to call 811 before you start. The service is free of charge and it ensures safety for you and the contractor.
“Every six minutes in the United States someone damages an underground utility line,” said Frank Poirot, spokesman for Eversource. “This is something that’s a preventable accident. Calling 811 will eliminate all the guesswork.”
Poirot told 22News you’re required to make the call, even for small projects like planting a tree or a shrub. The DigSafe service is available 24/7.
If you dig without calling 811, you could be fined up to $1,000. According to National Grid, digging is the leading cause of natural gas leaks each year.