April: National Safe Digging Month | Atmos Energy
Graphic of shovel digging in shallow dirt surrounded by yellow and red flags indicating buried utility lines.

April: National Safe Digging Month

March 31, 2016
Media Contact: Jennifer Altieri | 972-855-3164

Underground Pipelines Bring National Safe Digging Month to Surface

  • Failure to Call 811 Causes Damages Every 6 Minutes

  • 811 is a Free Call, and it's the Law

DALLAS – Atmos Energy’s natural gas pipelines are damaged, on average, ten times each day in Texas, and National Safe Digging Month aims 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 the 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 hand tools 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.”

About Atmos Energy
Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the country's largest natural-gas only distributors, serving more than 3 million natural gas distribution customers in about 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and also provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. Atmos Energy can also be accessed through social media platforms such as FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.