PG&E will recognize "National 811-Call Before You Dig Day" today, hoping to raise awareness about the need for residents and contractors to call 8-1-1 to have critical underground utility lines marked before the start of any outdoor digging project.
"We remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 8-1-1 in advance of any project that involves digging. This can help avoid significant property damage, injuries or even save a life," said Laura Wetmore, senior manager of PG&E's Mission Division. "A call to 8-1-1 can help prevent a call to 9-1-1."
PG&E's gas lines were struck 371 times last year in Alameda and Contra Costa counties combined, and 212 of those dig-ins had not used the 8-1-1 service to have all underground lines marked in advance, according to PG&E.
The average cost for those who damaged PG&E's underground utility lines in 2015, including fines and repairs, amounted to $5,351.
In all last year, there were over 1,600 strikes on PG&E's underground infrastructure. For more than 55% of these dig-ins, a request had not been made to have underground utility lines properly marked in advance of excavation work, the utility company said.