Published On: March 8th, 2023


Safe Digging Month is an awareness initiative sponsored by Pennsylvania 811 for the month of April.

For over fifty years Pennsylvania 811’s mission has been to prevent damage to underground facilities. To promote safety, we provide an efficient and effective communications network among project owners, designers, excavators, and facility owners. Since our inception in 1972, we have increased membership from 6 utilities in one county to over 3,700 underground facility owners and operators in all 67 counties. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The organization incorporated in 1978. The national 811 emergency number went live in 2008. Act 50 (2017) became effective on April 28, 2018, and the electronic “member mapping” service became a requirement for all members. In 2022, Pennsylvania 811 received close to 1,050,000 excavation notifications, and transmitted approximately 6.8 million notifications to their member facility owners and operators allowing essential utility and construction crews to provide vital underground services and repair to critical infrastructure to communities throughout Pennsylvania.

With the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure law and the Broadband Equity, Access and Deployment Program, we anticipate an increase in projects throughout Pennsylvania that will impact the construction industry as well as the underground facility owners.

We encourage everyone to get involved with promoting safe digging practices within your community. The call before you dig process helps to prevent injuries, property damages, inconvenient utility outages, and fines. Safe Digging is a shared responsibility among excavators, homeowners, facility owners, municipalities, cities and county level management and planners.

Traditionally outdoor projects start in the spring. Pennsylvania 811 Safe Digging Month serves as a reminder to all excavators and homeowners to call 811 at least 3 business days before you dig, so the approximate location of the underground utility lines can be identified and marked by facility owners.

Join us in raising the public’s awareness of underground safety.

Most of our grassroot efforts include public awareness campaigns you can get involved with by using our graphics. The message is simple “Call 811 Before You Dig”.  You can promote in your publications, newsletters, invoices, brochures, social media, community marquees, council or municipal meetings.

For those who want to do more, you may contact us at contact@pa1call.org to discuss ways to share costs in advertising opportunities.


  • Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. dba Pennsylvania 811
  • Pennsylvania 811 website is www.pa1call.org
  • PA Act 287 of 1974, as amended or PA Act 287, as amended or Pennsylvania Underground Utility Line Protection Law (PA UULPL)
  • Contact 811 at least three business days before digging
  • Online locate request at least three business days before digging www.pa1call.org/notify
  • The service is free to any homeowner working on their residential property
  • A small fee applies for professional contractors per calendar year for unlimited use of the service
  • Pennsylvania 811 does not locate underground lines
  • A tolerance zone is the horizontal space within eighteen inches of the outside wall or edge of a line or facility
  • Within the tolerance zone you must employ prudent techniques, which may include hand-dug test holes or vacuum excavation
  • The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC) is the enforcement authority of PA Act 287 of 1974, as amended

Pennsylvania One Call System (pa1call.org)

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