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Virginia Natural Gas Continues Effort to Raise Awareness of Safe Digging on National 811 Day
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Aug. 11, 2017 – Keeping families safe and natural gas flowing to homes and businesses is Virginia Natural Gas’ highest priority. That’s why today, on National 811 Day, Virginia Natural Gas is joining other utility companies, one-call centers and damage prevention advocates and professional contractors in an effort to raise awareness of calling 8-1-1.
Each year, Aug. 11 (8/11) serves as a reminder to the public to call 8-1-1 before starting an outdoor digging project such as putting in a mailbox, planting a flowerbed or building a deck. Dialing 8-1-1 can prevent injuries, property damages and inconvenient outages.
When making the free call to 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to Virginia Utility Protection Service, which notifies the appropriate utility companies (natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines) of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin. Virginia Utility Protection Service neither owns nor marks any underground utilities.
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 make contacting Virginia Utility Protection Service at 8-1-1 or 1-800-552-7001 part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 14 days in advance. The requests to have utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, water, cable, telephone and electric 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 the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have lines re-marked. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of gas is present, call 9-1-1 or the Virginia Natural Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-572-3342 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 293,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Virginia Natural Gas has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers, and in 2016 was ranked second in customer satisfaction among mid-size utilities in the South and third nationally by J.D. Power and Associates. Also in 2016, Virginia Natural Gas was recognized as an Environmental Champion by Cogent™ Reports and as the Local Distribution Company of the Year by the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association. For more information, visit virginianaturalgas.com and connect with the company on Facebook (Facebook.com/VaNaturalGasCo) and Twitter (Twitter.com/VaNaturalGas).
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 4.6 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 investments in interstate pipelines, 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.
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