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For Immediate Release

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Delmarva Power Reminds Customers to Call 8-1-1 Before Digging

NEWARK, DE (August 12, 2016) - Delmarva Power is reminding all customers and contractors to call 811 to have utility-owned underground lines marked before digging. Nationwide, every six minutes someone damages an underground utility line because of digging without first calling 811, according to the Common Ground Alliance, the national association that promotes the 811 phone number and safe digging practices.

Striking an underground electric or natural gas line can cause serious injury, damages and service interruptions. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects where a call to 811 should be one of the first steps.

Delmarva Power has nearly 6,065 circuit miles of underground electric lines in Delaware and Maryland and around 3,380 miles of natural gas distribution mains and distribution service lines buried throughout Delaware. In addition to Delmarva Power's 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.                                           

When calling 811, customers and contractors are connected to MISS Utility to provide information about their project. MISS Utility will notify Delmarva Power and all member utilities of plans to dig. The utilities will then mark their underground facilities. Calls are required at least three business days in advance of digging. 

Once lines are located, customers and contractors doing work also 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.  

Delmarva Power joins the Exelon family of utilities in recognizing National Call Before You Dig Day and is a member of the Common Ground Alliance to share best practices to promote safe excavation and decrease instances of damage to underground lines. 

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