ICC urges contractors, homeowners to call JULIE before digging

As the summer construction season ramps up and contractors, homeowners and even municipalities begin excavation projects, the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) reminds the public to call a new, national 811 “Call Before You Dig” phone number to prevent damage to underground utility lines while digging.

Illinois law requires anyone digging, regardless of the depth of the project, to call JULIE (Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators) at 811. This notice must be at least 48 hours/two working days prior to the start of excavation, and the project must begin within 14 calendar days from the call.

Call center representatives at JULIE are available to receive and process calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week. One simple phone call to 811 can prevent service outages, injuries and even death.

Moreover, by calling 811, one can avoid costly fines for violations of the Illinois Underground Utilities Facilities Damage Prevention Act . In 2006, the ICC issued 41 citations and levied fines of nearly $70,000 in its enforcement of JULIE, the Illinois One-Call System.

JULIE services the entire state of Illinois, except the city limits of Chicago. If digging inside the Chicago city limits, please contact DIGGER by dialing the same 811 number.

What exactly is 811?

811 is a FCC-designated national N-11 number for homeowners and professional excavators to call before digging. 811 calls will be directed to the local One Call Center and the affected utilities, who will then mark underground lines for free. The national 811 campaign will increase awareness among the public about the importance of having utility lines marked before digging. Digging without calling can lead to severe consequences including harm to those who dig, costly damages to underground infrastructure and utility service disruptions.

For more information, visit the ICC’s web site at www.icc.illinois.gov or JULIE, Inc., at www.illinois1call.com

from the July 5-10, 2007, issue

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