Southwest Gas reminds community to call 811 before digging projects

Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 6:20 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - More people may be getting outside to plant their gardens or change up their landscaping. April is National Safe Digging Month and Southwest Gas has some reminders before you pick up that shovel.

The Common Ground Alliance, an organization that works to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure has reported around 50 million Americans will plan to start digging without contacting 811 first.

Whether you are putting in a new shrub, installing a mailbox, or building a deck, it’s required you make that phone call.

Many homeowners don’t realize some utilities are buried only inches underground. Hitting a line can lead to injury, harm the environment, or can even be deadly. This not only puts their own safety at risk but also threatens to disrupt critical utility services for an entire neighborhood.

Last year, Southwest Gas found 30 percent of all damages caused by digging occurred when 811 was not called in advance.

Stephen Miller with Southwest Gas shared what happens when you make the call,

“It’s a really serious situation, you need to call 811. It’s a free process, just call two days in advance, and that way you can know where you can dig safely.”

Accidents can happen, if a pipeline is ever damaged never try to stop or slow down the flow of natural gas.

Move a safe distance away upwind from the damage, call 911 and report the damage to Southwest Gas.

For more information to dig safely, click here