Accidentally digging into underground utility lines of any type can cause safety issues and inconvenience those who will be impacted by a service interruption. Kentucky and Virginia laws require excavators, including homeowners to contact operators of underground utilities before performing any excavation work. It doesn't matter how large or small your project is. You’re still required to have underground utility lines marked before you dig.
When you contact 811
When you contact Kentucky 811 (or call 8-1-1 to submit your locate request) or Virginia 811, 811 will coordinate with member utilities in your area to have underground utility lines marked. This work is performed at no cost to you.
When you submit your request, 811 will issue a "locate request" to member utilities, including those who provide natural gas, electric, telephone, cable and/or water service. Crews either mark their underground facilities or notify the excavator they have no underground lines in the area.
You must contact 811 at least two business days before performing any excavation work. This will ensure sufficient time for operators of underground facilities to mark their lines to protect excavators and the general public and preserve the reliability of any underground facilities.
811 is a free service, and you can submit your locate request any time day or night.
LG&E CUSTOMERS: New provisions related to the CALL-BEFORE-YOU-DIG requirement
Because you receive natural gas service, you likely have underground natural gas lines at your place of residence or business. Damage to natural gas lines from excavation work can lead to explosion or fire and can cause property damage, serious injuries or death.
Beginning July 14, 2018, the Kentucky Public Service Commission (KPSC) will begin investigating instances of excavation damage to underground natural gas pipelines to determine whether the pipeline was properly located prior to excavation. Under changes to the Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act of 1992 (the “Act”), which take effect on July 14, 2018, the KPSC will have the authority to levy fines for failing to comply with the requirements of the Kentucky statute related to protection of underground utilities.
Key requirements of the Act (KRS 367.4901 to KRS 367.4917) include:
- Excavators, including property owners working on their own property, must contact Kentucky 811 (call 8-1-1 or submit a locate request online at 811.com) at least two working days prior to the start of excavation. IF YOU FAIL TO CONTACT 811 AND THEN DAMAGE A NATURAL GAS LINE, YOU WILL BE SUBJECT TO A PENALTY.
- The requirement to contact Kentucky 811 applies to all work on private property if it occurs within a utility easement or uses mechanized equipment.
- Natural gas operators must mark the facilities within two working days of receiving the request.
- Penalties for violating the statute are up to $1,250 for the first violation, $2,000 for a second violation, and $4,000 for subsequent violations.
CONTACT 811 (OR SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST BY PHONE WHEN YOU DIAL 8-1-1) BEFORE YOU DIG AND MAKE SURE THAT ANYONE DOING EXCAVATION WORK ON YOUR BEHALF CONTACTS 811 TWO WORKING DAYS BEFORE THEY START.