New Jersey Board of Public Utilities is trying to make sure that contractors and homeowners know about checking for underground utility lines by calling 811 before they dig.

The BPU reminds homeowners to make sure their contractors do the call before they do the dig to avoid big problems later.

"The homeowners are really the last line of defense to make sure that that is done ... and we can avoid any unfortunate events damaging that underground infrastructure," according to Board President Richard Mroz.

"New Jersey has infrastructure for its utilities throughout the state, and our companies invest billions of dollars in that infrastructure, whether it is underground electric or underground water and underground gas infrastructure. People need to be aware that that needs to be protected."

Mroz says it doesn't happen often that someone ruptures a pipeline or cable underground, but even once is one too many.

"There are a couple of occasions each year where there have been failures to have the mark outs and our staff will investigate those matters."

Once called at 811, utility workers will place color-coded markers at the site of their service to indicate where it is buried.

Mroz says they get about 600,000 calls a year for these kinds of so-called mark outs, and there have been about 3 million separate mark outs.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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