National Safe Digging Day -- Call before you dig

LOUISVILLE, KY -- Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company are urging customers to have underground lines marked by Kentucky 811 before National Safe Digging Day. 

The national safe day to dig is Sunday, Aug. 11.

LG&E and KU says Kentucky 811 is a free statewide computer-operated system that links excavators and underground utility operators. 

The service helps customers submit a "locate request," which is passed to each company that provides natural gas, electric, telephone, cable, and water service in the requested area. Then, each company will either mark its underground lines or let the person who submitted the locate request know if there are no underground lines. 

LG&E and KU says this service helps protect public safety, avoid costly repairs and fines, and protects the risk of disrupting service for one person, or the whole neighborhood. 

Kentucky already has laws that require all diggers to have lines marked before starting their project, but since last year, the law has new penalties if you break it. 

The changes to the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1994 gives the Kentucky Public Service Commission the authority to hand out fines for not complying with the requirements of the Kentucky statute related to protecting the underground utilities. 

Which means the Kentucky Public Service Commission can fine you up to $1,250 for the first violation, $2,000 for the second, and $4,000 for a third violation. 

LG&E and KU says you can submit a location request to Kentucky 811 online here or you can call 811. Both options are available 24 hours a day. 

LG&E and KU wants you to dig safely. Here are four steps to keep you safe while digging:

  1. Contact Kentucky 811 online or by phone 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 find the appropriate area contact for having underground electric lines marked.

Facts:

Marking lines makes a measurable difference. LG&E and KU says 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.