Translator Disclaimers
For Immediate Release: Contact: Shaheed Muhammad Morris
Date: 04/28/2023 609-477-0281
TRENTON, NJ — The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) acknowledges Governor Phil Murphy’s proclamation recognizing April as National Safe Digging Month and reminds everyone to call 811 a few days before doing any home or commercial digging projects.  


A proclamation from Governor Murphy was presented at the April 26, 2023 Board Meeting to bring attention to safety protocols surrounding excavation.


“New Jersey continues to lead the nation by having one of the safest underground damage prevention programs,” said NJBPU President Joseph L. Fiordaliso. “We implore you to notify the Call Before You Dig system prior to any excavating activities to help keep your community safe and to prevent serious injury or worse. By calling 811, you also help to protect underground infrastructure, especially pipelines, wires and cables.”


Underground Damage Prevention Month is part of National Safe Digging Month, a national initiative recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation that takes place every April. It is intended to increase awareness of underground utility line safety precautions and reduce the risk of infrastructure damage. 


Awareness is particularly important because, according to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), 40 percent of homeowners who plan to dig do not plan to call 811 before starting, putting themselves and others at risk. 811 is a free service.


Excavations are the leading cause of damage to underground infrastructure. According to a 2019 CGA survey, homeowners most often received citations for failing to notify officials before starting the following digging projects: 1) planting a tree or shrub; 2) building a patio or deck; 3) building a fence; and 4) installing a mailbox.


The law requires anyone who plans to dig to provide at least three business days’ notice before excavation by calling 811, the New Jersey One Call Center, which is essential to avoid serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs to critical utility services. 


NJBPU has direct oversight of the New Jersey One Call Center, which operates 24 hours per day, seven days a week. The One Call Center receives more than 700,000 calls each year, resulting in over three million “mark outs,” in which the location of an underground facility is marked by a flag or other symbol.


When someone calls 811, the New Jersey One Call Center informs the utility that owns the nearby underground infrastructure. The utility then visits the site and marks the underground facilities where the digging will take place. The person doing the digging is responsible for respecting the marks and hand digging within two feet on either side of any marked facility. 


Homeowners and others are encouraged to take the following steps whenever you are planning a digging project:  1) plan ahead by calling 811 regardless of the depth or your familiarity with the property; 2) consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings; 3) confirm that all lines have been marked; 4) if a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has called 811. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked. 


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About the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU)

NJBPU is a state agency and regulatory authority mandated to ensure safe, adequate and proper utility services at reasonable rates for New Jersey customers. Critical services regulated by NJBPU include natural gas, electricity, water, wastewater, telecommunications and cable television. The Board has general oversight and responsibility for monitoring utility service, responding to consumer complaints, and investigating utility accidents. To find out more about NJBPU, visit our website at