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National Safe Digging Day Reminder: Call 8-1-1 to Avoid Breaking Natural Gas Lines

San Diego CA— Unsafe digging from construction and landscaping activities resulted in almost 400 natural gas leaks in San Diego and southern Orange counties last year. In observance of National Safe Digging Day, today, August 11, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is joining energy companies across America to highlight the importance of calling 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked before digging. .

Underground utilities, including natural gas pipelines, telephone cables and water lines, are located everywhere, including under streets, sidewalks and private property, sometimes just inches below the surface.

Hitting a natural gas line can result in a serious safety hazard, fires, property damage, loss of utility service, costly repairs and fines. Gas leaks disrupt daily lives and cause a wide range of inconveniences to the public from service outages and closed streets, to emergency service personnel who are forced to respond.

“Whether you are planning to do a project yourself or hire a professional, be sure to call 8-1-1 to get utility lines marked if excavation is involved,” said Gina Orozco, SDG&E’s vice president of gas distribution.  “A simple phone call can help keep workers, residents, first responders and our employees safe.”

The process is easy. Call 8-1-1 or submit a request at DigAlert.org at least two business days before digging. SDG&E will mark the location of buried gas lines free of charge. There is also an 811 app that makes it even easier to schedule and track requests. It typically takes only 24-48 hours to complete a request to mark underground utility lines. No damage is too small to report. Even a slight gouge, scrape or dent to a pipeline or coating may cause a dangerous break or leak in the future. If a customer or contractor causes what seems to be only minor damage to a pipeline or a component attached to a pipeline, they should call SDG&E immediately at (800) 411-7343.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.