(LOUISVILLE, Ky.) – As the nation and utilities mark National Safe Digging Day, Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are urging consumers to have underground lines marked by using Kentucky 811.
Kentucky 811 is a free statewide computer-operated communication system that provides a communication link between excavators and operators of underground utilities. The service enables consumers to submit a “locate request,” which is passed on to each member company that provides natural gas, electric, telephone, cable, and water service in the requested area. The underground lines will then be marked or the individual will be notified if there are no underground lines. (Property owners are responsible for having any private underground lines marked as utilities are only responsible for underground lines from the main source to the service meter.) Using the service helps to protect the public; avoid costly repairs and fines; and guards against the potential for disrupting service to an individual or entire neighborhood.
Kentucky requires all excavators – professionals and the general public, alike – to have lines marked in advance before beginning any excavation projects. The updated Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994 gives the Kentucky Public Service Commission the authority to levy fines against those who fail to comply with the requirements of the Kentucky statute related to protection of underground utilities. Penalties for violating the statute range from $1,250 for the first violation, to $2,000 for a second violation, and $4,000 for subsequent violations.
Consumers can access Kentucky 811 through its online option, Kentucky811.org, and submit a home or pro request to have facilities marked. Requests can also be made by dialing 8-1-1. Both options are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Four steps to safe digging:
- Contact Kentucky 811 online or by phone at least two working days in advance.
- Wait the required amount of time.
- Respect the marks that outline the underground utility lines and equipment and the tolerance zone of about two feet on each side.
- 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.
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.
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 consumers about the importance of using 811 because it protects public safety and prevents costly damages.
Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company, part of the PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL) family of companies, are regulated utilities that serve more than 1.3 million customers and have consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. LG&E serves 332,000 natural gas and 425,000 electric customers in Louisville and 16 surrounding counties. KU serves 564,000 customers in 77 Kentucky counties and five counties in Virginia. More information is available at www.lge-ku.com and www.pplweb.com.
For further information: call the LG&E and KU media hotline at 502–627–4999.