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Westfield Gas + Electric is asking homeowners and contractors to delay non-essential digging in Westfield during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the public health crisis continues to put a strain on resources, and as we work to stop the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, WG+E is urging both homeowners and contractors to postpone any non-essential digging during this time,” said Tony Contrino, General Manager, Westfield Gas + Electric. “If you absolutely must complete projects that require digging, it is crucial to contact 811 beforehand. By doing so, you’ll be helping to prevent unintentional damage to key underground infrastructure while helping to keep your community safe and connected. We appreciate your help reducing the burden on first responders who are already bearing a heavy load during these unprecedented times.”

Anyone who must complete an essential excavation project should call 811 at least three business days before digging to request that the approximate location of buried utilities be marked. The 811 center will take the caller’s information and communicate it to local utility companies. Professional locators will then visit the site to mark the underground utility lines with spray paint, flags or both. A proper site survey before digging will prevent accidental damage to critical utility services, including internet and other communications lines. Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin digging around the marked areas.

April is National Safe Digging Month and a reminder to all that digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs if gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines are damaged. Keep yourself and our community safe by always calling 811 to utilize Dig Safe’s free-of-charge public safety service before starting any digging project.