Aug 11, 2015
(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – Even the best laid plans sometimes go awry, which is why preparing in advance is essential. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or seasoned, everyday professional, it’s a step that’s especially important when tackling projects that require digging underground.
According to Common Ground Alliance – whose members represent every facet of the underground utility industry – nationwide, an underground utility is damaged by digging every three minutes.
Properly marking lines in advance increases the odds of successfully completing excavation work in the United States without causing damage to underground lines and equipment by 99 percent; and Kentucky law requires it.
Whether it’s a major construction project or yard work at home, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company advise consumers to call Kentucky 811 to prevent digging into and damaging underground utilities, otherwise known as a third-party dig-in.
Kentucky 811 is a free statewide computer-operated communication system. When consumers call 811 to submit a “locate request,” this request is sent to each member company that provides natural gas, electric, telephone, cable and water service in the requested area. Each company will then either mark its underground lines or notify the individual if there are no underground lines.
In 2014, the 811 call center took nearly 160,000 requests for LG&E gas and electric lines and KU electric lines.
Through their work with contractors and homeowners and investigating dig-in damages in the field, LG&E and KU personnel and prevention coordinators actively educate excavators and the general public about the importance of calling 811 because this service protects public safety and prevents costly damages.
As a result of that education the company’s annual cost of repairing gas line damages caused by third-party dig-ins has been reduced by 15 percent since 2013.
Follow these four important safe-digging steps:
1. Call 811 at least two business days in advance.
2. Wait the required amount of time.
3. Respect the marks that outline the underground utility lines and equipment.
4. Dig with care.
All LG&E and many KU service territory locations are included under the 811 call center. KU customers should visit KU's Call Before You Dig web page or call 800-981-0600 to determine the appropriate area contact for having underground electric lines marked.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve a total of 1.2 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 321,000 natural gas and 400,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 543,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com