DOVER, DE – Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) is recognizing National Safe Digging Month this April by reminding our electric, natural gas and propane customers and all contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked prior to digging. According to data obtained and analyzed by the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices, an estimated 439,000 excavation-related damages to underground facilities occurred in 2017.
Digging underground without locating underground electric, natural gas and/or propane pipe or other service lines can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project warrants a call to 811. Whether installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio this spring, a call to 811 should be the first step in planning the project. In addition to underground line safety, the public should also be aware of potential shock hazards associated with electrical distribution equipment. It is important to follow safety signs, keep away from electrical transmission and distribution power lines, look up when working near lines, and call 811 before you dig.
Chesapeake Utilities manages more than 5,300 miles of gas pipeline and distribution mains, many of which may cross through residential properties. Properly locating these lines is essential to safely completing a digging job. In addition to Chesapeake Utilities’ lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities. Even properties that are not served by a particular service may still have utility lines running below ground. Chesapeake Utilities also encourages plumbers and excavators who use mechanical equipment to clear sewer blockages to make an emergency locate request as sewer laterals are not always marked.
One free call to 811 informs Miss Utility in Maryland and Delaware, Sunshine811 in Florida and Ohio811 in Ohio which then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, stakes and/or spray paint. Residents and contractors should call 811 at least three days in advance of starting a project.
Once lines are located, customers and excavators must understand the markings and look for evidence of unmarked lines, such as water and sewer lines on private property. Sewer clean-outs and water valve covers are examples of equipment that can indicate the presence of underground lines.
About Chesapeake Utilities Corporation
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy company engaged in natural gas transmission and distribution; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution; and other businesses. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s businesses is available at www.chpk.com or through our Investor Relations App.
Please note that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is not affiliated with Chesapeake Energy, an oil and natural gas exploration company headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
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In observance of Martin Luther King Day, we will be closed on Friday, Jan. 14, at 3 p.m., and will reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 8 a.m. If you have an emergency, please call us at 1.800.427.0015.