Spring has sprung; and as the season’s warm temperatures create opportunities for outdoor projects that call for digging into the ground, Louisville Gas and Electric Company, Kentucky Utilities Company, Columbia Gas and other Kentucky utility companies all urge area residents to remember three crucial numbers: 8-1-1.
The Federal Communication Commission’s designated call-before-you-dig number, 811, identifies buried lines that could be damaged as a result of excavation work. As part of April’s “National Safe Digging Month,” LG&E and KU remind customers to use the Kentucky 811 service before beginning excavation projects, small or large.
Whether it’s a homeowner or contractor, and whether installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck or laying a patio – Kentucky law requires all excavators to contact operators of underground utilities before performing any excavation work.
New this year, residents can also request Kentucky 811 service through its new online option “811Now.” The option provides an online form to request underground facility markings at a single address.
According to Common Ground Alliance, a national organization focused on protecting underground utilities across the country, an underground utility line is damaged every eight minutes because someone decided to dig without contacting 8-1-1 first.
How to use Kentucky 811:
Start by planning ahead – Know what you plan to do, where you plan to do it and when you’d like to begin your dig.
- Contact Kentucky 811 by phone or online with 811Now – Submit locate requests at least two days before you plan to dig and provide the required information about your project. The Kentucky 811 phone service and 811Now, online, can both be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Wait the required time for marking – When you contact Kentucky 811, they coordinate with Kentucky 811 member utilities in your area, including LG&E and KU, to have underground utility lines marked. This work is performed at no cost to you.
- A “locate request” goes out to member utilities, including those who provide natural gas, electric, telephone, cable and water service. Crews either mark their underground facilities or notify the excavator they have no underground lines in the area.
- Respect the marks and dig with care – Markings are completed using paint or flags according to the standard color code system. If you have any questions, you should contact the appropriate utility directly.
LG&E is a Kentucky 811 member utility in all of the areas it serves. KU is a Kentucky 811 member only in certain areas of its service territory.
LG&E customers should contact 8-1-1 before they dig. KU customers can visit the company’s website to see if they need to call 8-1-1 or KU directly based on their location.