Washington Gas Wants You to Dig Safely by Contacting Virginia811 Before you Dig!
National Safe Digging Month serves as an important reminder that everyone, whether a homeowner with a shovel or a professional excavator with an earthmover, must contact Virginia 811 Before You Dig.
Washington Gas (WG) reminds homeowners, the community, and professional excavators that contacting Virginia 811 before digging on any property is the law. Virginia 811 is conveniently accessible 24/7 and can be reached by phone (8-1-1) or online at VA811.com.
Digging projects range from the small to the big. It is often a surprise to homeowners that simple projects like gardening and landscaping can be dangerous and disruptive when digging without knowing where underground natural gas lines, communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utilities are located. Knowing where these underground utility lines are before putting a shovel in the dirt helps prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient service outages.
WG has over 27,000 miles of underground gas lines. And in the past year, we have had 8.7% incidents that resulted in damage to our underground pipeline system by homeowners digging in their yards. Fence projects accounted for 6% of this damage.
WG, in partnership with Virginia 811, urges everyone to Dig with CARE:
- Contact Virginia811 Before You Dig: Always notify 811 prior to starting your project to have the dig site marked.
- Allow the Required Time for Markings: Locators will come out and mark your property to indicate where your underground utilities are located. Wait at least 3 working days before you begin digging.
- Respect the Marks: Respect any marks made by utility companies. Also, mark your dig site with white flags or paint. Before digging, be sure to confirm utility response by comparing the marks at the dig site and make sure everything has been cleared by your utility companies.
- Excavate Carefully: Marks made near the dig site indicate the approximate location of the underground facilities. Because of that, it is best to carefully hand dig within two feet of those marks.
Contacting Virginia 811 and entering an online ticket request is free of charge. Once a ticket is entered, utility representatives are sent to the requested digging sites to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. If WG has natural gas pipelines in the area, their approximate location will be marked with yellow paint and/or flags.
It is important to contact Virginia 811 before you dig since there can be great consequences when underground utilities are not properly marked. Representatives from WG’s Damage Prevention team and Virginia 811 partner together to provide education and training about the process to both the professional excavator community, and homeowners alike.
Please contact Rosemary Langowski, Senior Damage Prevention Specialist at WG at [email protected] or Fernando Mendez, Regional Marketing Liaison for Virginia 811 at [email protected] with requests for further information, training, demonstrations, interviews, and support materials.
About Washington Gas
Washington Gas Light Company is a regulated natural gas utility serving approximately 1.1 million customers in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and a leading source for clean, efficient, and diverse energy solutions.
Virginia Utility Protection Service, commonly called Virginia811, is the not-for-profit organization created by Virginia’s utilities to protect their underground facilities. Find more information and safe digging practices at VA811.com