Chattanooga Gas Reminds Homeowners and Contractors to Ask for Locate Before Digging
Before you dig, stop and call 8-1-1
CHATTANOOGA, TN – March 31, 2015 – April is National Safe Digging Month, which marks the time of year when natural gas utilities see an increased volume of cut lines – damages to underground facilities. To bring awareness about protecting underground natural gas pipelines and help ensure the safety and the continuity of critical services, Chattanooga Gas is encouraging homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 prior to starting any digging projects. It’s the law!
“Safety is the number-one priority of Chattanooga Gas, and National Safe Digging Month gives us the opportunity to create awareness about natural gas pipeline safety and promote why calling 8-1-1 before you dig is important,” said Bryan Batson, president of Chattanooga Gas.
When making the free call to 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to Tennessee 811, which notifies the appropriate utility companies (natural gas, electric, water, sewer, and cable, communication) of the requestors 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 around marked lines. Tennessee 811 neither owns nor marks any underground utilities.
To help create a greater awareness of safe digging practices, Chattanooga Gas also is soliciting the help of its employees. The company is launching its annual 8-1-1 Photobomb Contest for employees. The contest is designed to build awareness of safe digging practices by asking employees to submit photos that display 811 in a fun, creative way. “Our employees are company ambassadors who help us inform our peers, family members, neighbors and the general public about safety matters related to our business,” said Batson.
Chattanooga Gas is providing the following safe digging guidelines for homeowners and contractors:
- Call Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are advised to make contacting Tennessee 811, by dialing 8-1-1 or visiting www.tenn811.com, as part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 10 days in advance. The requests to have utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, water, cable, telephone and electric lines, can be made by dialing 8-1-1 24 hours a day seven days a week.
- Wait the Required Time: Before doing any digging projects, plan ahead. Tennessee requires you to contact 811 at least three working days in advance of starting any digging projects. 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.
- Dig with Care: 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 accidentally damaged or the distinct odor of gas is present, call the 866.643.4170 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.chattanoogagas.com
Chattanooga Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides retail natural gas sales and transportation services to approximately 63,000 customers in Hamilton and Bradley counties in southeast Tennessee. The Chattanooga Gas service area includes the communities of Chattanooga, Cleveland, Red Bank, East Ridge, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain. For more information, please see www.chattanoogagas.com.
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.
Kristie Swink Benson