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Virginia Natural Gas urges residents to contact VA811 before starting any digging project this 8-1-1 Day

Company partners with Papa Johns to celebrate National Safe Digging Day; From Aug. 1 to Aug. 15, redeem coupon for a "Buy Any Large Pizza, Get One Large Cheese Pizza for only $8.11

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – August 9, 2023 – Summertime is here and for many homeowners, that means starting home improvement projects and digging in the dirt. Aug. 11 is National 8-1-1 Day, and Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) reminds residents and professional excavators across the region that the date serves as an important cue to always contact VA811 before starting any outdoor digging project.

Virginia Natural Gas has also partnered with Papa Johns to celebrate National Safe Digging Day on Aug. 11 (8-11), the company is offering a special deal to remind everyone to contact Virginia 811 before starting any digging project. From Aug. 1 to Aug. 15, use the below QR code to redeem our coupon for a "Buy Any Large Pizza, Get One Large Cheese Pizza for Only $8.11." Know what's below, contact Virginia 811 before you dig. Enjoy the delicious pizza while keeping safety a priority.

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"At Virginia Natural Gas, our topmost priority is the safety of our valued team members, customers, and the community," said Rus Hayslett, Vice President of Operations. "Engaging in digging activities without knowledge of the approximate location of underground utilities can lead to severe injuries, inconvenient service disruptions, and expensive repairs. As summer brings peak activity in home improvements, we urge all residents to remember the importance of contacting VA811 before commencing any digging or excavation project."

Contacting VA811 before digging is the easiest way to avoid damaging buried utilities. However, in a national survey conducted by the Common Ground Alliance, a national nonprofit organization working to protect underground utility lines, 49% of those surveyed, or approximately 34.9 million Americans, will take a risk by not contacting 811 before starting home improvement projects that involve digging.

Virginia Natural Gas encourages homeowners and contractors to follow these safe digging guidelines and always dig with CARE:

  • Call or Click Before You DigBefore starting any outdoor digging project, customers should dial 811 or visit at least three days in advance to request to have underground utility lines marked. Requests to have utility operators locate underground lines, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is free. 
  • Allow the Required Time for Marking: After contacting Virginia 811, wait for underground utility lines to be marked before digging (approximately three-working days). Locators will mark the approximate location of buried lines with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes corresponding to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow. 
  • Respect the MarksOnly use hand-digging tools to carefully uncover the area around a utility line when you need to dig near location markers.
  • Excavate CarefullyMake sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to contact Virginia 811 to have the lines remarked.

If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated when natural gas is present, call 911 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 equipment that might cause a spark or create an open flame.

Learn more about natural gas safety at

About Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Virginia Natural Gas provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable natural gas service to more than 300,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in southeast Virginia. Consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the company also has been recognized by the Virginia Department of Energy (Virginia Energy) and the Virginia Oil and Gas Association for its safety, innovation, environmental stewardship, community outreach and educational programs, and has been named Local Distribution Company of the Year five times since 2015. The company has been ranked by its business customers as one of the most Trusted Business Partners in the utility industry according to Cogent Reports, and a Top Workplaces in Hampton Roads by Inside Business. For more information, visit and connect with the company on FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, LinkedIn and Nextdoor.

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 4.4 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Karen Bradley
757-355-0368 | www.virginianaturalgas/pressroom