Press Release

Does Your Next Project Involve Digging? Call 811 Before Starting

On National 811 Day, PSEG Long Island reminds the public that marking out underground utilities only requires one free call

(UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Aug. 2, 2021) – On National 811 Day, Aug. 11 (8/11), PSEG Long Island reminds customers it is the law to dial 811 before starting an improvement project that involves digging. Hitting a buried electric, gas, water or cable line while digging can disrupt utility service, cost money to repair, and cause severe injury or death. One free call to 811 will ensure customers "know what’s below."

Every digging project, no matter how small, requires a call to 811 at least two and not more than 10 business days before work begins. 811 is the designated national dialing code to have underground lines located and marked out before any excavation work begins around the home or business. For all projects, even planting a flowerbed, installing a mailbox or fence, or putting in an aboveground pool, it is imperative to call 811 beforehand.

When you call 811, you are automatically connected to the 811 Call Center, which collects information about your upcoming digging project. The information is provided to utility companies, who send representatives to mark the locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. Once lines have been properly marked, you will be notified and the digging can begin.

“A free call to 811 before digging keeps our customers safe and protects underground lines, which helps ensure excellent reliability across Long Island and the Rockaways,” said Michael Sullivan, senior director of Transmission and Distribution at PSEG Long Island. “It’s the smart thing to do, and it’s also the law. I’m pleased to say that we have had more than130,000 calls for electric markouts to 811 in our area so far this year, which is about 10% more than last year and a sign that our educational campaigns are working.”

PSEG Long Island continues to practice safe social distancing protocols. Customers should be assured that underground utility mark-out work is performed entirely outdoors and there is no need for any interaction with the technicians.

Tips for safe digging:

  • Call 811 at least two and not more than 10 business days before each job to have underground pipes, wires and equipment located and marked.
  • Before work begins, confirm that a call to 811 has been made and the mark-out was completed. By law, all digging projects require a call to 811.
  • Both property owners and contractors must maintain and respect the marks. Always hand dig within 2 feet of marked lines, or the area known as the Tolerance Zone, to find the existing facility.
  • Various colors are used when marking lines; to learn what each color represents, visit


If an underground facility is struck resulting in an electric or gas emergency:

  • Leave the area immediately and keep others away.
  • Once you are at a safe location, call 911 to report the incident.
  • If electrical equipment is damaged, call PSEG Long Island’s electric service emergency line at 800-490-0075.
  • If gas piping is damaged or you smell gas when excavating, stop immediately and call National Grid’s gas emergency line at 800-490-0045.

PSEG Long Island has more than 5,000 circuit miles of underground electric distribution and transmission lines across Long Island and the Rockaways. In addition to the electric service lines, buried utilities can include communications cables and natural gas, water and sewer lines.


PSEG Long Island operates the Long Island Power Authority’s transmission and distribution system under a long-term contract.  PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a publicly traded diversified energy company.