Call Before You Dig

An Important Message about Damage Prevention Prior to Excavating

There are thousands of dig-in damage incidents in the United States every year. Striking an underground pipeline may lead to expensive fines, serious injury or death. Gas pipelines are built with safety and reliability as top priorities. However, a natural gas leak may result in fire, explosion, and/or asphyxiation. Natural gas is a colorless, odorless gas; however, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to help detect a possible leak. It's a bad smell that's good!

Georgia 811

Some of the signs of a gas leak include seeing bubbling water, hearing a hissing or blowing sound from a pipeline or appliance, dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area, dirt or dust blowing from the ground, or the smell of rotten eggs.

If you smell gas, or just think you might be smelling gas:

  • Leave the area immediately
  • Call your local gas provider at 706-554-8000 or 911 from a neighboring home or business
  • Never turn on or off switches or use a flashlight or phone in the presence of the gas smell, because an electric spark could ignite the gas, causing an explosion
  • Stay in a safe location until the Emergency Responder arrives and gives you clearance to return to the area.

Prevent Damage

Here are five easy steps to damage prevention:

1. Survey and Mark - Survey the proposed excavation area and mark the dig sites in white paint.
2. Call Before You Dig - 48 hours prior to digging, call 811 and get free staking of underground utility lines which helps reduce the chance of injury and unneeded expense.
3. Wait! Wait the required time to allow utility owners to locate and mark the lines.
4. Respect the Marks! Maintain visibility of the marks and safely follow them when digging.
3. Dig - Dig with care. Hand excavate within 24-inches of each side of the lines. If you plan to dig anywhere near a marked area - especially when using power equipment - use a shovel and carefully hand dig to expose the lines.

Emergency Response

If your equipment contacts a gas line:

  • Leave equipment, jumping clear and shuffling away, without turning off engines or generators.
  • Warn others and leave the area quickly.
  • Do not operate any gas pipeline valves or stop the flow of gas.
  • Leave the excavation open.
  • In a natural gas emergency, call 911, then Waynesboro Natural Gas.

Over the past 20 years, risk exposure has been rising through increased populations, energy consumption and pipeline miles. At the same time, the number of serious pipeline incidents involving death or injury has declined by 50%.

To learn more about our natural gas service and the benefits of natural gas, call 706-554-8000.

Follow These Guidelines to Prevent Damage While Working Near Natural Gas Pipelines

Please visit the Georgia 811 website for more information about "Call Before You Dig."