A timely reminder on 8/11: Call before you dig

Utilities companies want people to call 811 before they dig to avoid hitting underground utility lines.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:10 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -Gas lines are safe lying underground, undisturbed, but dig in the wrong place and they become an instant emergency.

You may get off with a crowd of first responders descending on you and an interruption of service. If so, count yourself lucky.

“If you happen to damage a line it can cause costly repairs, damages to your home and property, serious injury, even worse,” says Matt Brecke of NV Energy.

So, the people who maintain those gas lines, like NV Energy, seize on any opportunity to remind us of the hazards beneath our neighborhoods.

Thursday’s date--Aug. 11, 8-1-1, reminds us that’s also the number you want to remember before digging that trench or planting that large tree. So they set up a demonstration outside Western Nevada Supply to make the point.

Gas lines can deliver natural gas or propane, and there’s a difference. Natural gas is lighter than air. If there’s a leak, it will rise and dissipate. Propane is heavier and more dangerous. It drops and can gather in low spots just waiting for an ignition source.

But the main thing to remember is that number: 8-1-1.

A call will bring a crew from NV Energy to locate the lines and mark them, telling you clearly where it’s safe to dig and where it’s not.

“This applies to everybody,” says Brecke. “Contractors, homeowners, weekend warriors, everybody. They should call before they dig.”

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