Sunday, December 10, 2023

Do yourself a favor and call before you dig. It’s free

VIRGINIA BEACH — Spring has sprung here — well, sort of — and it’s time to get out and add rooms onto your home or install new fences or decks.

But residents should always be sure to call before digging.

April is National Safe Digging Month and the folks at Virginia Natural Gas want their users to stay safe and to dig with care.

“Homeowners should always call 811 before any do-it-yourself digging project,” said David Gatling, manager of Asset Protection at Virginia Natural Gas. “From something that may seem as small and easy as a new mailbox or fence post, to building a deck. It’s a free service that will get all the utility lines marked and ensures the safety of all every family we serve.”

Excavation work around a home or a business is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies, he said. It’s the law in Virginia that you do call before digging.

“It’s a very dangerous assumption that could result in a utility disruption if a line is hit, or even injury or worse. No matter how small a project is, homeowners should always call 811,” Gatling said.

Once a call is made to 811, crews that maintain underground utilities, including natural gas, water, and electric in that work area will come and mark the underground lines. Gatling said to always remember to allow the required time for marking, which is 48 hours beginning at 7 a.m. on the following business day.

Even if residents are hiring a contractor or a professional to do the digging, calling 811 is required.

Information about safe digging can be found on the Virginia Natural Gas website.

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