Middle Tennessee Natural Gas and Tennessee One-Call Remind Homeowners to Call 811 Before They Dig

April 25, 2008

As warmer weather approaches and a new season begins, homeowners start to get the home improvement itch, with outdoor projects at the top of their to-do lists. Weekend warriors have been making plans all winter to build a new deck, plant shrubs and even add that white picket fence or install a new mailbox. Not only do homeowners need the proper tools and materials to successfully complete a project; they also need Tennessee One-Call to ensure that surrounding underground utility lines are safe from excavation.

811, a federally mandated and easy-to-remember national “Call Before You Dig” number, was created to help do-it-yourselfers ensure that utility lines are marked before digging, eliminating unintentional encounters with underground utility lines while they work on projects that require breaking ground.

Here’s how it works. To ensure that all underground utility lines in the work area are marked, call Tennessee One-Call by dialing 811 at least 3 business days before digging. Tennessee One-Call will arrange for member utility operators to have the underground lines at the project site investigated and marked, free of charge, so that homeowners can carefully excavate around them and protect the lines during construction. This simple step can save money, prevent personal and property damage and protect homeowners from legal ramifications. It’s that simple.

It is pertinent that homeowners notify Tennessee One-Call before any digging begins, no matter how large or small the project. Those digging often incorrectly assume that projects such as planting a tree, building a deck and installing a new mailbox or fence don’t break ground deep enough to require a visit from utility line locators. Tennessee One-Call Center is a homeowner’s ultimate partner – a partner that must be included in all outdoor home projects that involve digging.

Natural gas delivered by pipelines is the safest form of energy in the U.S. Day in and day out, all across this country, pipelines safely deliver the efficient, reliable, and environmentally friendly natural gas that brings comfort to our businesses and homes. By utilizing 811 and proper digging techniques you will keep the gas in the pipeline and avoid the hazards of flammable and pressurized materials. Middle Tennessee Natural Gas (MTNG) and Tennessee One Call employees work diligently to keep you safe. MTNG pipelines are designed, tested, operated, and maintained to standards that meet or exceed regulatory requirements. Yellow proximity markers are installed to warn of pipelines in the area and provide Tennessee One Call’s phone number.

Though natural gas incidents are uncommon, especially when utilizing 811, you should know their telltale signs:

Look – Blowing dirt, bubbling water, dry spots in moist areas, or dead vegetation may indicate a gas leak.

Listen – A hissing sound near a natural gas pipeline or appliance may indicate a leak.

Smell –Natural gas has a unique odor added to it so you can be aware of a leak through your sense of smell.

If you suspect a gas leak, take action:

Leave immediately – Do not try to find or stop the leak. Get to a safe area.

Do not smoke, use phones, turn appliances or lights on or off, or operate any equipment that could spark.

Call – Once you are out of the area where a gas leak is suspected

For any additional information regarding Tennessee One-Call Center services, please feel free to call 811 or visit www.tnonecall.com. Further information on natural gas can be obtained at www.mntg.com.

Remember it’s free, it’s easy and safe digging is a shared responsibility – know what’s below, call before you dig.

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