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Virginia Natural Gas urges safe digging practices throughout National Safe Digging Month

Contact 811 before any digging project to protect community and underground utilities

Virginia Beach, VA. – April 1, 2024 – With the arrival of spring's warmer weather, a prime time for beginning outdoor projects, Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) emphasizes the importance of contacting 811 before any digging activity. This critical step, necessary for personal projects like installing mailboxes, planting trees, or constructing pools, as well as professional tasks such as paving, tunneling, or blasting, is crucial for the safety of the community and the integrity of underground utilities.

Contacting 811, a service provided at no cost, is not just a recommendation but a legal requirement designed to prevent damage to underground infrastructure, thereby protecting our communities and ensuring continuous utility services. VNG provides the following guidelines to ensure safe digging:

  • Call/Contact 811 Before Digging: Initiating contact with 811 or visiting at least three days before starting your project allows time for the marking of underground utilities, helping to avoid potential damage.
  • Allow Time for Marks or Flags: After reaching out to 811, ensure you wait until utilities have been clearly marked with colored paint or flags, such as yellow for natural gas, before beginning any work.
  • Respect the Marks: When digging near marked areas, use only hand tools to prevent accidental utility line damage.
  • Excavate Carefully: Maintain visibility of utility marks while working. If marks are no longer visible or a gas line is accidentally struck, immediately call 811 for remarking or 911 in case of a gas leak, ensuring you are a safe distance away when making the call.

By adhering to these guidelines, homeowners and contractors can contribute to the prevention of injuries, property damage, and inconvenient service outages. Understanding the location of underground infrastructure before starting any digging activity is a key step in ensuring the safety and protection of our community and the reliable provision of utilities.

For more information on safe digging practices and to learn more about Virginia Natural Gas's commitment to safety, please visit or


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 natural gas service to more than 310,000 customers in southeast Virginia. Named a Top Workplace in 2023, Virginia Natural Gas also has been recognized as one of the safest, most reliable and customer-focused natural gas service providers and is consistently ranked in the top quartile for customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. For more information, visit and connect with the company on FacebookXInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states and 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:
Morgan Chase
Office: 757-616-7510 | Cell: 757-725-6916 |