Planting a garden or adding a mailbox? NJ law asks that you call


Spring is in the air and that signifies the return of house enhancement tasks. But ahead of digging, it is the legislation in New Jersey to be harmless and simply call 8-1-1.

Chelsey Van Heest, method analyst at PSE&G stated it’s not just the massive jobs that entail contractors that call for a cell phone simply call. Even scaled-down projects do. These include things like planting a bush, a tree, a vegetable garden, or installing a mailbox or a fence.

Hanging a natural fuel pipeline is particularly harmful, claimed Van Heest. At a minimal, that could imply an evacuation or a road closure but at worst, it could necessarily mean a building explosion.

Calling 811 just before digging cuts down the probabilities of harmful an underground line to less than 1%. Underground gas and electric powered lines are almost everywhere, even on non-public houses. These can be very easily weakened by excavation perform.

Van Heest mentioned Jersey residents have to contact 811 to ask for a free, utility mark out at minimum a few company times prior to digging (weekends and holidays do not depend).

A mark-out ticket will then be issued, which incorporates a start out-by-dig day. That is 10 business times just before that first mobile phone simply call. The mark out is legitimate for 45 times so Van Heest explained if the challenge is going to be longer than that, inhabitants need to place in for an additional ticket.

Utility organizations will properly mark underground lines with paint and flags. Just about every mark out is colour-coded.

Van Heest stated the most common kinds in New Jersey are purple for electric powered, yellow for fuel, eco-friendly for pressurized sewer, blue for water, and orange for communications.

Assets house owners need to hand dig within two ft of marked strains to obtain the current services in advance of working with mechanized products.

April is National Protected Digging Month and in the state, about 31 million house owners strategy to undertake dwelling enhancement tasks that include digging, mentioned Van Heest. But only 40% or 11 million individuals will contact 8-1-1.

She recalled an difficulty in Texas previous month that resulted in a big outage. Any person ruined a transmission line and which is where the greater, substantial-tension lines feed into the scaled-down, household feeder lines. 4,300 clients were impacted in that incident.

“When that occurs, everybody’s fuel has to get shut off and systematically turned back on 1-by-a single, make absolutely sure all the things is operating properly before we flip it back on. Which is an extreme case but it’s doable, stated Van Heest.

She also included that in New Jersey, about 30% of the natural gas line damages that take place, transpire because individuals did not connect with 811.

In 2021, PSE& G responded to 884 phone calls relating to excavation damages (713 gasoline and 171 electric powered).

Additional information and facts about 811 is readily available at or on the PSE&G web page.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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