SDG&E Reminds Customers To "Call 811 Before They Dig"
SDG&E offers tips for reducing natural gas pipeline incidents
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --As the weather cools down and natural
gas usage increases, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is reminding residents
and businesses to call 811 to have utility-owned lines marked before digging
in the garden or at construction sites. Calling 811 or Underground Service
Alert will help avoid possible injury or damage to hidden gas lines or service
A utility line is damaged by digging once every three minutes nationwide, and
many of these incidents are caused by failure of the professional excavator or
homeowner to call 811 before beginning their digging project. Even if
relatively minor projects are involved, such as putting up a new wall or
fence, building a deck, planting or removing large trees or any other
renovations, the digging necessary for these projects can result in hitting
gas lines if they aren't located prior to the work.
"Since gas lines that serve homes and businesses are located underground and
out of sight, residents and business owners won't know where they are located.
We urge everyone – whether digging at their businesses or homes -- to make the
quick 811 phone call to Underground Service Alert to have utility-owned lines
marked for free," said Jimmie Cho, vice president of field services at SDG&E.
In 2011, there were 158 "dig-ins" to SDG&E gas pipelines which the utility
hopes will decrease this year through increased public awareness.
Before digging in their yard, place of business or the street, residents and
business owners should mark the proposed excavation area, and call 811 to
reach Underground Service Alert at least two business days before the project
is to begin. Underground Service Alert is free and they will contact SDG&E and
other area utilities. Each utility will then locate and mark the underground
lines, pipes and cables they own.
SDG&E-owned pipelines typically extend from the gas main, in front or behind
the home or business, to the gas meter. Customer-owned gas pipes are the lines
that run from the gas meter to the building or area where gas-fueled equipment
or appliances are located. To have these customer-owned lines located and
marked before a project, SDG&E advises its customers to call pipe and leak
locating service companies or licensed plumbing contractors who provide these
"Once all lines are marked, excavators should carefully use only hand-digging
tools within two feet on each side of marked gas lines," Cho added.
No damage to gas lines is too small to report. Even a slight gouge, scrape or
dent to a pipeline or coating may cause a dangerous break or leak in the
future. If a homeowner or excavator causes what seems to be only minor damage
to a pipeline or a component attached to a pipeline, they should call SDG&E
immediately at 1-800-411-7343.
For more safety information, visit www.sdge.com/safety. You can also call
SDG&E at (800) 411-7343. To find out the approximate location of major
transmission gas and liquid pipelines, visit the National Pipeline Mapping
System website at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov.
SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy
service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more
than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The
utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways
to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of
Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based
in San Diego.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
Contact: Amber Albrecht, San Diego Gas & Electric, (877) 866-2066, Twitter:
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