Pennsylvania One Call System says goodbye and good luck to a friend of the Corporation!

Kevin German of Lehigh County Authority recently announced his retirement. Mr. German contributed to POCS in many roles for over 16 years, including as a Board Member, an Officer and Chair of the Board of Directors. We wish Kevin and his wife Robin good luck in the years to come. They will be missed. 

Pennsylvania One Call System says goodbye and good luck to a friend of the Corporation!
Kevin German of Lehigh County Authority recently announced his retirement. Mr. German contributed to POCS in many roles for over 16 years, including as a Board Member, an Officer and Chair of the Board of Directors. We wish Kevin and his wife Robin good luck in the years to come. They will be missed.

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa., Dec. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/

Pennsylvania One Call hits a milestone with one millionth dig notification

Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc., dba Pennsylvania 811, a nonprofit service company dedicated to minimizing utility service interruptions, reducing on-the-job injuries or deaths, promoting higher level of public safety and protecting the environment, recently hit a milestone with its one millionth dig notification received on Monday, December 18, 2023 at 1:41 pm for the year. This is a significant number, especially with the ongoing infrastructure upgrades and home projects taking place all over the state.

Contact 811 at least three business days before digging in Pennsylvania.

As Mr. Kiger, CEO and President of Pennsylvania One Call System states, "While we celebrate this highpoint, we'd like to see the amount of notifications increase in 2024. We are encouraging everyone within the industry, including homeowners, to concentrate on three focus areas in the upcoming year—consistent use of Pennsylvania 811, key excavator practices, and precise position, timely utility locates."

According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), the national nonprofit trade association dedicated to protecting underground utility lines, people who dig near them and their communities, Damage Prevention Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Report, the annual rate of damages to buried infrastructure in the U.S. has remained stagnant for most of the last decade and costs the U.S. a staggering $30 billion every year. Each of the hundreds of thousands of dig-ins to underground utilities that occur annually has the potential to cripple communities and businesses by cutting them off from critical services, cause injury or even loss of life.

"It is crucial for those who are planning to dig to remember the importance of safety. Digging without knowing the precise location of underground utilities can be extremely dangerous. It can result in serious injury or even death, as well as inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs. Hitting underground gas, electric, communications, water or sewer lines can have a major impact on communities and businesses," said Bill Kiger. "For professional contractors and homeowners, we cannot stress enough the importance of planning ahead and giving the required three business day notice before digging."

While the consequences of not contacting Pennsylvania 811 can be severe, it is equally important for those with complex projects to use Coordinate PA; as part of Pennsylvania 811's operating system. A complex project can be defined as lengthy in duration, impactful to the community, large in size, or the work site can be complicated and complex. Coordinate PA was designed to assist project owners and excavators with their coordinating efforts while allowing all stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the project, plan and work together on an effective locating schedule.  In 2023, Pennsylvania 811 achieved another milestone with over 25,000 projects entered into Coordinate PA.; this marks a 211% increase from the previous year. Additionally, Pennsylvania 811 attended numerous preconstruction meetings across the state and encourages all stakeholders to participate in one of the 32 active Utility Coordinating Committees, which convene regularly to discuss upcoming projects.  

Pennsylvania 811 continues to play an essential role in promoting collaboration and communication among stakeholders. For more information, visit While it may be tempting to skip the 811 process, it is never worth endangering lives. Safety is in your hands. Every dig. Every time.


About Pennsylvania 811

Pennsylvania 811 is a not-for-profit Pennsylvania organization with over 3,700-member facility owners/operators, 100,000 excavators and designers, operating in 67 counties of the commonwealth. Membership is mandatory for facility owners that serve customers or consumers since 1987. The service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Pennsylvania 811 is committed to prevent damage to underground facilities, to promote safety, and provides an efficient and effective communication network among project owners, designers, excavators, and facility owners. 

About CGA

CGA is a member-driven association of more than 3,200 damage prevention professionals in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices of today and tomorrow. Membership in the CGA is open to all stakeholders with a genuine interest in reducing damage to the underground infrastructure.

October 2023 | Pennsylvania | West Mifflin

Pennsylvania 811 is dedicated to providing the highest quality education in damage prevention and excavation safety. We are committed to bring the industry together by offering five conferences across the commonwealth with a consistent education track. We will provide a full-day of education where experts in their field can share their knowledge and experiences with attendees. The conference is full of opportunities to learn something new. 

Keynote Speaker
Pennsylvania 811 is pleased to announce our 2024 Keynote Speaker is Eric Giguere, Safety Awareness Solutions. Eric is a renowned national speaker who shares his inspiring story of surviving being buried alive in a preventable workplace accident. Eric shares how this event almost took his life and how it has changed his life. 

Session Speaker, Sponsor, Exhibit and Advertising Opportunities Available
Pennsylvania 811 encourages participation at our conferences. You can choose to submit an abstract for considerationsign up to sponsorexhibit, and/or advertise during each conference. Deadline for Early Bird Rates is Friday, April 5, 2024. 

To learn more about our Safety Day Conferences, click here.


October 2023 | Pennsylvania | West Mifflin

Pennsylvania One Call System is pleased to announce the release of TICKET ATTACHMENTS on Tuesday, October 31, 2023 at 9:00 AM. This feature will allow users to attach documents to tickets created online.

As a result of this release, there are changes to the HTML redirects for members. The HTML link to respond in ticket deliveries and supplemental text messages will now direct users to Online Ticket Management, where members will be able to view the ticket, related attachments, and enter their response. 

Web Ticket Response will still be available as an application on the website, but it will not support ticket attachments. 

For assistance with using Online Ticket Management, click the Help Tab inside the application or watch the tutuorial on our YouTube channel. 

October 2023 | Pennsylvania | West Mifflin

IMPORTANCE NOTICE for Member Company Respresentatives (facility owners and operators, municipalities) and Mapping Contacts. 

The Member Mapping application will be unavailable during our ANNUAL LANDBASE MAP MAINTENANCE, part of our ongoing effort to keep maps current.

This maintenance is critical because the landbase map data is used by members as reference points when designating facility notification areas, and both web ticket entry and customer service representatives when drawing excavation notification areas.

Map Update Begins - Thursday, December 14, 2023 (2359)
Map Update Ends - Sunday, January 7, 2024 (an email will be sent)

If you have any questions, please contact Member Services at or 412-464-7168 or 800-248-1786 ext. 7168.

Thank you for your patience as we update our landbase maps. 

August 2023 | Pennsylvania | West Mifflin

August 11 (8/11) Serves as a Convenient Reminder for Pennsylvania Residents to Always Contact 811 Before Digging

Pennsylvania 811 encourages everyone to contact 811 three business days before digging to avoid damaging buried utilities

Aug. 11 is almost here, and with over 50 years of service to the Commonwealth, Pennsylvania One Call System hopes that  the 8/11 date on the calendar will serve as a natural reminder for residents to contact 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. Every few minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first contacting 811. 

When contacting 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to Pennsylvania One Call System, the local 811 center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, inconvenient outages and fines. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting 811 by phone or online. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are just some examples of digging projects that require an 811 request at least three days before breaking ground.

"On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to use the 811 service before digging to reduce the risk of striking an underground utility line," said Bill Kiger, President & CEO of Pennsylvania One Call System. "Calling 811 or visiting is really the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area so that you can dig safely."

The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches or digging in a location that's previously been marked, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.

Visit for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

To access 811 Day materials used to promote safe digging, click here.

April 20, 2023 | Orlando, FL | CGA Conference & Expo

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) recognized this year's pioneers in damage prevention. Khrysanne Kerr, Vice President, Marketing and Outreach, officially inducted Ellen Kiger, Vice President and COO, Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc., into the Hall of Fame at their annual meeting. The award honors CGA member that have served in the organization over a long period of time and whose impact has left its mark on the organization in a positive and memorable way. 

For 47 years, Ellen Kiger's thought and process leadership for people and technology has advanced One Call and Damage Prevention for stakeholders in Pennsylvania and beyond. Ellen Kiger has been serving the damage prevention community for 47 years. Her journey began as a switchboard operator for Robbins Answering Service in 1974. Ellen became Supervisor of their emerging One Call account in 1976. In a groundbreaking moment, Ellen was the first individual to take a fully computerized ticket with immediate transmission to underground facility owner members.

Ellen's career grew as she nurtured One Call needs for seven states and provinces at previous vendor-run call centers: On-Line Systems, United Information Services and One Call Systems, Inc. Transitioning to a non-profit director role at Pennsylvania One Call System, Inc. in 1987, today Ellen masterfully leads the people, telephony, and technology and serves the Board of Directors as Pennsylvania 811's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Ellen's extensive knowledge continuously advances Damage Prevention processes as she contributes her insight with the industry.

Nationally, Ellen was and is a member of the American Public Works Association, was at the table for One Call Systems International (OCSI) and joined the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) at its inception in 1999. She participates on the CGA committees for Best Practices, Data Reporting & Evaluation, and One Call Systems International. Ellen co-chaired the OCSI Committee from 2015-2017.

Ellen's intellect and voice of reason supports the team at Pennsylvania 811. She continues learning and guiding others in a constant pursuit of overall best practices and processes, customer service, and technology to serve Damage Prevention stakeholders in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Congratulations, Ellen. 

Previous Hall of Fame inductees from Pennsylvania were William Kiger, President and CEO, Pennsylvania 811 (2007), Bill Boswell, Legal Counsel (2008) and Eric Swartley, UGI Utilities (2021).

April 2023 | West Mifflin, PA

To All PA One Call Communications and Broadband Members,

Request for Spatial Information needed to help expand the Pennsylvania's Fiber Broadband network for Rural and underserved areas in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is requesting that you share your information. Please contact Kyle Snyder, AICP - 717-787-6500 with the Department of Community & Economic Development in order to share information. Thank you for your cooperation.

As this build-out has already begun with funding from the Pandemic Infrastructure Bill you may already been seeing the impact. We strongly recommend working together through "Coordinate PA" to Coordinate and Collaborate all Projects to make all the dollars go as far as possible towards reaching the goal of bringing affordable Broadband to all areas of the Commonwealth SAFELY! Please review the Coordinate PA (CPA) and Complex Project information.

We encourage the use of CPA and the Regional Coordinating Committees to advance Broadband communications and all excavation projects. More than 40,000 projects have been entered to facilitate the "Dig Once" philosophy promised by DOT and the PBDA. I should point out that there is aerial work involved in getting this message effort done. CPA can be used to communicate that work as a part of these projects, as well.

Broadband Projects have already caused damage to facilities in Pennsylvania. Contractors just getting into this business or coming into PA from other States need to be aware of Act 50 and "HDD Good Practices" Section 5.(11.2). For more information on the requirements of CPA, please contact your PA One Call Damage Prevention Liaison.

Again, please contact Kyle Snyder to share information with the PBDA.


William G. Kiger

President & Chief Executive Officer, Pennsylvania 811

March 2023 | West Mifflin, PA

The Pennsylvania 811 Board of Directors have mandated that effective April 21, 2023, all Preliminary and Final Design Notifications must be created in Pennsylvania 811's Coordinate PA (CPA) Application.

CPA is Pennsylvania 811's web-based project coordination software tool for utility and public works project planning, design, and construction within Pennsylvania. Before, designers would either call 811 or use Pennsylvania 811 Web Ticket Entry (WTE) to place their 811 design notifications. Now, using CPA, Designers still get the same functionality of WTE, but also will have the ability to collaborate, plan, and project manage with all underground stakeholders on large and/or complex underground projects, from conception through construction, to prevent underground damages throughout the life of the project. Once the design phase is completed, the CPA project can be continued into the construction phase by the project owner or contractor who can place Complex Project and Routine notifications on the project.

Section 4 of The Underground Utility Line Protection Act 287 as Amended requires that all Designers that are “preparing a drawing which requires excavation or demolition work within this Commonwealth: To request the line and facility information prescribed by Section 2(4) from the One Call System not less than ten nor more than ninety business days before final design is to be completed. This clause is not intended to prohibit designers from obtaining such information more than ninety days before final design is to be completed; however, they shall state in their requirements that such work is preliminary."

Not familiar with CPA? Have questions about Pennsylvania 811 Design process? Please contact the Pennsylvania 811 Damage Prevention Liaison in your area. Their contact information can be found at


Winter 2023

Read Articles
  • Documenting Your Complex Project Meeting
  • Announcing Keynote Speaker for our 2024 Safety Day Conferences
  • Damage Prevention and Public Awareness
  • Repeating Our Past Mistakes - Setting Our Crews Up for Failure
  • Spring 2024 Upcoming Events


  • A Roadmap for Innovation
  • One Call in Europe
  • Streamlining Service Provider Operations
  • 50% Underground by 2040?
  • Defending Utility Damage Claims when the Excavator is "Not-At-Fault"
  • Essential Guidelines for Ensuring Utility Line Locating Safety
Fall 2023
  • The LIfecycle of a Routine Ticket
  • The Four C's of Utility Coordination
  • 811 Day Recap (2023)
  • 2024 PA Safety Day Conferences Dates & Locations Announced


  • Diversity Inclusion in the Damage Prevention Industry
  • Recommendations for a Field Audit
  • Utilizing Predictive Analytics to Manage Limited Resoures
  • The Reforms Needed to Cut Excavation Damages
  • Unearthing Value: Digital Mapping & Data for Compliance

Summer 2023
Read Articles

  • Design Notifications and Coordinate PA
  • The Importance of Sign-In Sheets and Meeting Notes
  • 2023 Safe Digging Month Campaign Recap
  • What's Happening at Pennsylvania 811


  • Potholing with Precision
  • Hydro- and Air-Powered Vacuum Excavation
  • The Economic Loss Doctrine in Utility Damage Cases
  • Utility Mapping and Hydro Excavation
Spring 2023

Read Articles
  • Pennsylvania PA Safety Day Conferences
  • Identifying and Preventing Cross Bores in Pennsylvania
  • The Renotify Process and the Update Ticket
  • Spring 2023 Educational Programs in Pennsylvania
  • Coordinate PA


  • Good Locators & Listening to All Stakeholders
  • What is the "Danger Zone" when a Gas Line is Fractured?
  • Are you Sure That's Right?
  • Is There a Standard for Fiber Optic Installation?
  • Fiber Builds with Damage Prevention as a High Priority
  • Grafton Technologies Teams up--Norfield to Create Operational Efficiencies
  • Steps for Overcoming a First Amendment Audit in the Field
  • Minnesota Pilot Program Update: GPS Enabled Locating Systems
  • NUCA Star Shines Brightly for our Industry's Safe Jobsites
  • Locator Certification--an Australian Success Story
  • Locator Certification vs. Locator Competency
2023 Excavation Safety Guide
Pennsylvania Edition

  • Pennsylvania 811 Introduces Web Ticket Entry 4.0
  • Coordinate PA: The Next Generation of Utility Coordination
  • Pennsylvania 811's Coordinate PA
  • PA Act 287, as amended, User Guide


  • Understanding ROW Policies for Different Municipalities and Agencies
  • The Right Training
  • Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act
  • Change: It may be difficult, but not changing can be fatal
  • Understanding the Marks
  • Locate Requests: Covering the Basics
  • Subsurface Utility Mapping and Using Wide Array Multi-Frequency
  • Getting More from your GPR Utility Data
  • Starting your own Locate Division as an Excavator or Contractor
  • Late Locates - Can improved communications be a "silver bullet"?