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News Article

Piedmont Encourages Customers to Call 811 Before They Dig Date Posted: 04/17/2012

Calling Free Utility Locator Service At Least 3 Business Days Ahead Can Prevent Mishaps, Headaches

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 17, 2012) – April is National Safe Digging Month, and Piedmont Natural Gas is reminding all customers to call 811 before they dig to avoid damage to natural gas and other utility lines as well as possible service disruptions, potential fines and repair costs.

Digging without first locating natural gas lines is by far the leading cause of pipeline damage. While commercial contractors are responsible for the majority of line breaks, homeowners also need to take care if they plan to plant a shrub or tree this spring.

“Calling 811 to have all utility lines marked before starting a lawn or garden project is a simple, free step that keeps everybody safe,” said Victor Gaglio, Senior Vice President and Chief Utility Operations Officer  for Piedmont. “Planning ahead a few days can also help prevent service disruptions and other headaches.”

Piedmont recommends calling 811 at least  three business days prior to the start of any project. At no cost to the homeowner, a professional utility location service will send a representative out to mark the approximate location of buried lines with the following colored paint or flags:

  • Yellow: natural gas or petroleum pipeline
  • Red: electric
  • Orange: communications or telephone/CATV
  • Blue: potable water
  • Green: sewer or drainage
  • Purple: reclaimed water
  • White: pre-mark site of intended excavation

Piedmont advises customers who suspect a leak or smell the “rotten egg” odor of natural gas not to turn on or turn off light switches, use their cell phones or do anything else that could ignite a spark. Instead, customers are advised to move to another location and call Piedmont Natural Gas at (800) 752-7504 or 911 in an emergency. For more natural gas safety tips and information, go to

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