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For Immediate Release

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ComEd Media Relations

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Be Safe, Be Smart and Know What’s Below – ComEd Reminds Customers to Call 811 Before Starting a Digging Project

August 11 (8/11) is National Call Before You Dig Day

CHICAGO (August 11, 2017) – Today, 8/11, serves as a natural reminder for 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 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. Customers and contractors also are required to call 811 before clearing blocked sewer lines to determine if any utility lines are nearby as well.

ComEd manages nearly 21,000 miles of underground electric lines in its region, many of which may cross through residential properties. Properly locating these lines is essential to safely completing a digging job. In addition to ComEd'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 either JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) for Illinois suburban areas or Digger for the city of Chicago, to provide information about their project. JULIE or Digger will notify all member utilities of your plan to dig. The utilities will then mark the underground facilities. Calls are required at least three days in advance. 

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.

ComEd 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. The company also provides customers and local contractors with important information about safety around overhead and underground utility lines through mailings, customer newsletters, social media and print advertising.

​To learn more, visit comed.com/safety.

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Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state’s population. For more information visit ComEd.com, and connect with the company on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

© Commonwealth Edison Company, 2017. All Rights Reserved.