(Harrisburg) -- The state Public Utility Commission is reminding people working on construction or home improvement projects to check for utility lines before they start digging.
PUC spokeswoman Denise McCracken says the commission sees an increase in outside work in the spring.
She says workers or homeowners can make sure they don't disturb utility lines by making a call to phone number 811.
"This prevents incidents where property owners are installing a mailbox, a basketball hoop and they innocently dig in their yard," McCracken says. "We don't want them to find out too late that they hit a gas line, a water line, any other utility line, because that does cause significant problems, not only on the homeowner's property, but you could interrupt an entire neighborhood."
McCracken says phoning the so-called Pennsylvania One Call system three business days ahead of projects gives utility companies time to mark their lines.
She says while utilities, contractors and homeowners are required by law to call before using power equipment to dig, even a simple shovel could damage a utility line.
Calls to 811 are free of charge.
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