By Messenger Staff | Wise County Messenger Staff
It is required by law to call 811 to have all buried utility lines located and marked before digging or excavating, according to a press release by Atmos Energy.
Since 2008, the company has seen a 47 percent increase in requests by the public to have underground natural gas lines marked. Once underground utility lines are marked, it’s important to take special care around all line markings by digging by hand.
“The greatest risk to our natural gas pipelines is accidental damage while digging,” said John Paris, president of Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex division. “Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak.”
Every time the excavating public calls 811 before digging, the chance of hitting an underground utility line decreases to 99.9 percent. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig.
Professional locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the locations of underground utility-owned lines with flags and spray paint, free of charge.
“Atmos Energy located 2.1 million underground natural gas lines in 2016. We appreciate our customers observing this important safety law,” Paris said. “Calling 811 is the law in every state that we serve. All excavators call 811 at least three business days before digging on public or private property.”
Read original Wise County Messenger Article.