Dallas-based Atmos Energy’s natural gas pipelines are damaged on average 10 times each day in Texas. The company is promoting National Safe Digging Month to remind all Texans to call 811 before digging. A simple call can prevent traffic delays, evacuations and in serious cases, injury.
“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.”
The Federal Communications Commission first declared April as National Safe Digging Month in 2005. This monumental action established 8-1-1 as the national number to call to have all utility lines properly marked. The 811 program is provided at no charge and prevents risk of outages and threats to life and property.
“A call to 811 is easy and free. It’s the law in every state that we serve that all excavators call 811 at least two business days before digging on public or private property,” said Paris. “Once utility lines are marked, it is important to dig with care. Using handtools and staying within the digging tolerance zone helps keep utility lines and you safe.”
Mike Losawyer, president of Texas 811 agrees. “All it takes is a single call to 811 to get underground utilities located and flagged prior to a dig. The call is free and so is the locating service.”
Atmos Energy invited the community to The Dallas Farmers Market at 10 a.m., April 1 to kick off National Safe Digging Month. The event also marked the culmination of the 811th tree planted across Texas by Atmos Energy, Texas 811 and Texas Trees Foundation.Tags: Atmos Energy, Safe Digging Month