April is National Safe Digging Month
Chattanooga, Tenn. – April 1, 2019 – With spring here and the ground ready for digging, Chattanooga Gas is committed to enhancing the safety of homeowners and excavators as they gear up to start outdoor projects. Whether putting in a fence, planting a tree or building a deck, knowing where the utility lines are before you dig helps prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient utility outages.
Nationwide, an underground utility line is damaged once every six minutes because someone decided to dig without first contacting Tennessee 811, according to Common Group Alliance. CGA is a national advocacy organization focused on preventing damage to underground structure.
Contacting Tennessee 811 which notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Utility representatives are then sent free of charge to the requested digging sites to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. If Chattanooga Gas has natural gas pipelines in the area, their approximate location will be marked with yellow paint and/or flags. Once all lines have been marked, it is important that residents and excavators respect the marks and use the appropriate tools to dig with care according to legal, safe-digging practices. For information on safe digging best practices and other valuable damage prevention information, refer to recommendations outlined by the Common Ground Alliance at commongroundalliance.com/programs/best-practices.
To protect underground utilities and to help ensure that communities stay safe and connected, Chattanooga Gas is providing homeowners and professional excavators with the following safe digging guidelines:
- Call Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are advised to make contacting Tennessee 811 by dialing 811 part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service should be made three days in advance. The requests to have 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: After calling 811, wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked before digging. 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: Only use hand digging tools to carefully uncover the area around a utility when you need to dig close by.
- Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 811 to have lines re-marked.
If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas is present, call 911 or the Chattanooga Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-866-643-4170 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or equipment that might cause a spark or open flame.
For more information about natural gas safety, visit chattanoogagas.com/safety.
About Chattanooga Gas
Chattanooga Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Chattanooga Gas provides retail natural gas sales and transportation services to approximately 66,000 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 chattanoogagas.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 4.2 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with 685,000 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 southerncompanygas.com.
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