Atlanta Gas Light Reminds Communities to Dig Safely as Outdoor Projects Increase During Safe Digging Month

Thursday, April 8th, 2021

To help keep springtime outdoor projects running smoothly and safely, Atlanta Gas Light is reminding the community during April, Safe Digging Month, that do-it-yourself homeowners and professional excavators alike are required by law to call 811 before digging on any property.

“We put safety first as we provide our customers with the comforts of natural gas, but we can’t do it alone,” said Tiffany Callaway-Ferrell, vice president of operations at Atlanta Gas Light. “By identifying the location of the underground infrastructure in your area before starting a new project, you can do your part to stay safe and protect our state.”

Even simple projects such as gardening and landscaping can be dangerous and disruptive when digging with utility cables and pipes underground. Atlanta Gas Light emphasizes the importance of contacting 811 to have underground infrastructure located before the start of any digging project. This includes fence installation, driveway or sidewalk paving, building a home addition or installing a pool. The requirement to call 811 also applies before clearing a sewer line, tunneling, grading, boring, blasting or similar work.

Atlanta Gas Light has approximately 34,000 miles of natural gas infrastructure throughout Georgia. In addition to those lines, there are underground communications cables, electric, water and sewer lines and other utility lines on every property. Knowing where underground infrastructure is before putting a shovel in the dirt helps prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient service outages.

To help ensure communities stay safe and connected, Atlanta Gas Light offers the following safe digging guidelines:

  • Contact or Click 811 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor digging project, contact 811 or visit georgia811.com at least three days in advance to request that locating experts mark underground utility lines. Requests are free and can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

  • Allow the Required Time for Marking: After contacting 811, wait to have underground utility lines marked before starting to dig. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow. 

  • Respect the Marks: Only use handheld digging tools to uncover the area carefully around a utility line when you need to dig close by. 

  • Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If they are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to contact 811 to have lines remarked. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas is present, call 911 or the Atlanta Gas Light 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-427-4321 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or equipment that might cause a spark or create an open flame.

The company also provides a fun, interactive way for parents and their children to learn about natural gas safety with its digital Safe Digging Arcade. The arcade uses science, engineering, technology and math puzzles and games to educate children about how their families can stay safe and avoid damaging a utility line when digging around their homes.