National 811 Day: Atmos Energy Reminds Everyone to Always Call 811 Before You Dig | Atmos Energy
Graphic of shovel digging in shallow dirt surrounded by yellow and red flags indicating buried utility lines.

National 811 Day: Atmos Energy Reminds Everyone to Always Call 811 Before You Dig

August 11, 2015

Media Contact: Jennifer Altieri | 972-855-3164

DALLAS— Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged in the United States. However, a quick, free call to 811 before digging virtually eliminates this threat and protects the community.

In recognition of National 811 Day, August 11, Atmos Energy Corporation reminds homeowners, construction crews, and do-it-yourselfers to call 811 before digging into your next outdoor project.

“It’s the law in every state to call 811 at least two days before digging,” said John McDill, Atmos Energy’s vice president of pipeline safety. “The 811 program is provided at no charge to save you time and money as well as to prevent threats to life and property.”

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their state one-call center, which notifies all appropriate utility companies in the area. Professional line locators are then sent to the digging site to mark the locations of all buried utility lines with colored flags and spray paint. The 811 service does not locate customer-owned lines on a property or inside a building. A plumber, electrician or other contractor must be hired to locate customer-owned lines.  “The greatest risk to underground natural gas pipelines is accidental damage during excavation,” McDill said. “Even minor damage, such as a gouge, scrape, dent or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak or failure. To protect pipelines and other underground facilities, the law requires that all excavators call 811 between two and ten days before excavation work begins on public or private property.”

Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree or laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. For details, visit our 811page.

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 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.