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Honey-Do List Overdue? Timing, Preparation Key to Spring Digging Projects

UNION, NJMarch 31, 2015 – While the long, cold winter kept many cooped up indoors, April, which is National Safe Digging Month, marks the time of year when people head outdoors to start projects that require digging.  If the proper safety steps are not taken, however, planting a flowerbed and building a deck can increase the chances of damaging underground utility lines.

To create awareness about protecting underground utilities and help ensure the safety and the continuity of critical services, Elizabethtown Gas is reminding homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 prior to beginning any digging.

When making the free call to 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to New Jersey One Call, which notifies the appropriate utility companies (natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines) of the intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once lines have been accurately marked, digging can begin. New Jersey One Call neither owns nor marks any underground utilities. 

Throughout the year, Elizabethtown Gas provides safety information, resources and industry best practices to customers, emergency responders, governmental officials, the general public and service providers, such as contractors, plumbers and HVAC technicians, on the importance of pipeline safety.

To help create a greater awareness of safe digging practices, Elizabethtown Gas also is soliciting the help of its employees.  The company is launching its third annual 8-1-1 Photobomb Contest for employees. The contest is designed to build awareness of safe digging practices by asking employees to submit photos that display 8-1-1 in a fun, creative way.

Elizabethtown Gas is providing the following safe digging guidelines for homeowners and contractors:

  • Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are advised to make contacting New Jersey One Call by calling 8-1-1 or 800.272.1000 as part of their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 10 days in advance.  The requests to have utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Wait the Required Time: Before doing any digging, customers are urged to call 8-1-1 and wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked. The approximate location of underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.
  • Respect the Marks: Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods, which may include hand tools, and dig no closer than 24 inches from the marked utility lines. 
  • Dig with Care: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If they are illegible or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have the lines re-marked. If a natural gas line is accidentally damaged or the distinct odor of gas is present, call the 800.492.4009 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

For information about natural gas safety, visit elizabethtowngas.com.

Elizabethtown Gas
Elizabethtown Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS), provides natural gas delivery service to approximately 279,000 residential, business and industrial natural gas customers in New Jersey. In operation since 1855, the company serves parts of Union, Middlesex, Sussex, Warren, Hunterdon, Morris and Mercer counties. For more information, visit www.elizabethtowngas.com.

AGL Resources
AGL Resources (NYSE: GAS) is an Atlanta-based energy services holding company with operations in natural gas distribution, retail operations, wholesale services and midstream operations. AGL Resources serves approximately 4.5 million utility customers through its regulated distribution subsidiaries in seven states. The company also serves approximately 630,000 retail energy customers and approximately 1.2 million customer service contracts through its SouthStar Energy Services joint venture and Pivotal Home Solutions, which market natural gas and related home services. Other non-utility businesses include asset management for natural gas wholesale customers through Sequent Energy Management and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. AGL Resources is a member of the S&P 500 Index. For more information, visit www.aglresources.com.

 

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