National 8-1-1 Day Aug. 11 Highlights Importance Of Contacting Tennessee 811 Before Starting A Digging Project

Thursday, August 11, 2022

In honor of National 8-1-1 Day on Thursday, Chattanooga Gas reminds property owners and professional excavators of the importance of calling Tennessee 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects. 

Tennessee law requires a call to 811 at least three business days before the work. The call notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators will come to the site for free to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both.

“The safety of our team members, customers and community is our number one value at Chattanooga Gas,” said Pedro Cherry president, and CEO of Chattanooga Gas. “Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs. Summer is often the peak time for outdoor projects, and 8/11 Day is a good reminder to contact Tennessee 811 before you dig. It is free and it is the law.” 

"Contacting Tennessee 811 before digging is the easiest way to avoid damaging buried utilities. However, in a national survey conducted by the Common Ground Alliance, a national nonprofit organization working to protect underground utility lines, 49 percent of those surveyed, or approximately 34.9 million Americans, will take a risk by not contacting 811 before starting home improvement projects that involve digging," officials said.

Chattanooga Gas encourages homeowners and contractors to follow these safe digging guidelines and always dig with CARE:

Call or Click Before You Dig: Before starting any outdoor digging project, customers should call 811 or visit Tennessee 811 at least three days in advance to request to have underground utility lines marked. The service is free. 

Allow the Required Time for Marking: After contacting Tennessee 811, wait for locators to mark the approximate locations of underground utility lines before digging (about three business days). The lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes corresponding to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow. 

Respect the Marks: Only use hand digging tools to carefully when digging near location markers.

Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the lines are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to contact Tennessee 811 to have lines remarked.

If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated when natural gas is present, call 911 or the Chattanooga Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-866-643-4170 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or equipment that might cause a spark or create an open flame.

Chattanooga Gas is also partnering with the National Excavator Initiative and well-known tv personality, author and social media influencer, Mike Rowe, to spread the word about safe digging. Known for the hit TV series “Dirty Jobs,” and his groundbreaking Facebook show “Returning the Favor,” Mr. Rowe and his animated sidekick “Micro Mike Rowe” are helping Chattanooga Gas highlight the importance of underground utility infrastructure and share what can go wrong if homeowners and contractors do not contact 811 before digging.

Learn more about natural gas safety at: https://www.chattanoogagas.com/safety.html.


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