Orange and Rockland Utilities Marks August 11 (8/11) With a Reminder: Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig; Make One Call. It Protects Diggers and Utilities From Damage
Orange and Rockland Utilities (O&R), and the nation’s other utilities who operate facilities and equipment underground, mark Friday, 8/11, to remind all professional excavators and Do It Yourselfers (DIY) to place an underground utility location request for their digging projects with UDig NY by visiting UDigNY.org or by calling 811.
Location requests should be placed at least two business days, but not more than 10 days, before beginning an excavation project.
Excavators who damage underground facilities because they did not follow the state regulations are subject to hefty fines and repair costs. Those fines from the New York State Public Service Commission (NYSPSC) could total up to $10,000 for each offense. Costs to repair or replace damaged underground facilities and restore service to impacted customers, if necessary, could run into the thousands of dollars and, in some cases, tens of thousands of dollars.
UDig NY — formerly Dig Safely New York — is the link between diggers and the underground utility operators — and placing a location request by visiting UDigNY.org or calling 811 is the first step in a safe digging project.
Here’s how the underground location request system works: After a location request is placed, UDigNY processes and transmits the information to the local underground utility operators who are responsible for marking out the approximate location of any underground public utilities in the dig area.
“Whether you are a homeowner doing a backyard digging project for the first time, or a professional excavator with years of experience, placing a location request with UDig NY at least two days before beginning your digging project is essential,” said O&R Field Operations Planner John Flynn.
He added, “Digging without placing a location request dramatically increases your risk of causing damage to underground utilities and injury to your workers and the public.”
Flynn also said. “I encourage anyone planning a digging project to visit UDigNY.org to learn more about protecting yourself and your community by placing a location request before you dig.”
If you see an active excavation site or digging project, but you don’t see flags or painted markings on the surrounding ground, please call O&R at 1-877-434-4100 and report the location.
If you smell gas, immediately leave the area and call 911, O&R’s Gas Emergency Hotline at 1-800-533-LEAK (1-800-533-5325), or your local gas utility. You can report gas leaks anonymously.
In addition to supporting the 811-contact center, UDig NY provides educational services including the Certified Excavator Program in Safe Digging Best Practices (CEP), which has set a standard for training New York State professional excavators in the proper procedures of excavation. For more information, visit UDigNY.org.
About UDig NY
UDig NY is the place where all safe digging in Upstate New York starts. As the link between you and the underground utility operators, UDigNY utilizes a contact center and industry-leading software – Exactix – to receive and transmit notifications of intent to dig in the form of underground utility location requests. UDigNY provides you with the tools to place and manage your location requests 24/7/365.
Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc. (O&R), a wholly owned subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, is a regulated utility. O&R provides electric service to approximately 300,000 customers in southeastern New York State (where its franchise name is Orange & Rockland) and northern New Jersey (where it’s Rockland Electric Company) and natural gas service to approximately 130,000 customers in New York.