Call 811, keep underground utilities safe

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

More than 50 percent of Atmos Energy's hazardous leaks are caused by excavation damage to its natural gas distribution system. Accidental damage is the greatest risk to underground utilities and even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can weaken a pipeline and lead to a future leak.

In an effort to reduce excavation damage, Atmos Energy and Common Ground Alliance (CGA) urge contractors, landscapers, homeowners and the public to call 811 before any digging starts, as required by law.

"It is the law in Tennessee and Virginia to call 811 before digging to have underground utility lines marked," said J. Kevin Dobbs, president of Atmos Energy's Kentucky/Mid-States division. "Calling 811 helps prevent service outages, serious injuries and costly repairs and is critical to keeping the public and utility lines safe."

Before any excavation or home improvement project like landscaping or planting trees and shrubs, call 811 at least three business days before you want to dig. Here's how it works:

• Call 811 -- a representative will take information about your project and notify appropriate utility companies to mark buried lines so you can dig safely around them.

• Utility lines will be located and marked with color-coded flags.

• Respect the flags by not digging close to them.

It's free. It's safe. And it's required by law.

Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is the country's largest, fully-regulated, natural-gas-only distributor, serving over three million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas. For more information, go to http://www.atmosenergy.com. Atmos Energy can also be accessed through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.