Virginia Natural Gas offers safe digging tips on National 811 Day
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Aug. 11, 2016 – Have you been procrastinating to start an outdoor project? If building a deck or installing sprinklers are on top of your to-do list, Virginia Natural Gas is reminding homeowners and professional contractors to call 8-1-1 up to 14 days before any project that requires digging or excavation. This reminder coincides with National 811 Day, which is celebrated on Aug.11. It’s a day that promotes the importance of requesting a locate to mark underground utility lines, which helps prevent serious injury, costly property damage and inconvenient utility service interruptions. Virginia Natural Gas is providing the following safe digging guidelines for homeowners and contractors:
- Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are advised to contact 8-1-1 or 800.552.7001 as part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 14 days in advance. The requests to have public utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
- Allow the Required Time for Marking: Before doing any digging, customers are urged to call 8-1-1 and wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.
- Respect the Marks: Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods, which may include hand tools, and dig no closer than 24 inches from the marked utility lines.
- Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If they are illegible or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have the lines re-marked. If a Virginia Natural gas pipeline is accidentally damaged or the distinct odor of gas is present, first call 9-1-1 then 877.572.3342 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.
For information about natural gas safety, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com/safety.
About Virginia Natural Gas
Virginia Natural Gas is one of seven natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides natural gas service to 290,000 customers in southeast Virginia. For more information, visit www.virginianaturalgas.com.
About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.5 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in seven states and more than 1 million retail customers through its companies that market natural gas and related home services. Other nonutility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit Southern Company Gas at www.southerncompanygas.com.