The Public Utilities Commission has added requirements to the “Call Before You Dig” rules for both commercial and residential excavation work.
Existing rules require people and businesses to call 811 before digging to prevent accidental damage by homeowners or contractors to underground utilities.
Those rules have now been amended to require anyone who does damage underground electrical, gas and water lines to immediately call 911 if they do hit something and cause damage.
Utility officials have complained for years far too many people and contractors fail to call before digging and end up causing expensive damage to underground systems. When they do call 811, the utility sends professional locators to the site to mark the locations of underground utilities with flags, paint or both so the homeowner or contractor can avoid them.
That service is free but existing rules make it clear anyone who doesn’t do so and ends up causing damage can be held responsible for the cost of making repairs.