Christina Nyquist What is Your Natural Gas Utility doing to Help Prevent Pipeline Damage?

April has flown by and believe it or not, we’re almost to the end of National Safe Digging Month (NSDM). All month, your local utility has been busy getting the word out in your community about the simple steps everyone should take to help prevent pipeline damage and accidents. Homeowners, construction workers and landscapers must remember to Call 811, the free telephone call to locate utility lines, before beginning any type of digging project large or small. Excavation damage is the leading cause of all pipeline accidents, so dialing these three numbers really can make a difference in helping to save lives and prevent property damage.

Natural gas utilities work to get this message out through bill inserts, social media, local newspapers, and TV and radio stations, especially during NSDM. Some have found even more creative ways to spread the word to the public. Alliant Energy lit up the Iowa night sky with their safety message, illuminating the building windows with 811. At 21 floors high, Alliant Energy’s building is the tallest in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, making it a prime location for this important message.


Piedmont Natural Gas in North Carolina teamed up with local Girl Scouts, as well as a neighborhood hardware and garden store for a day of “tree tagging” to remind gardeners to call 811 before they begin spring projects. The Girl Scouts worked with the manager of The Gardens of Blackhawk Hardware to tag trees and shrubs with 811 notices.

Girl Scouts And Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) in California is spearheading efforts to set up 811 Task Forces with local emergency responders and other key partners to develop coordinated and proactive efforts to address excavation damage and raise awareness. This month, PG&E has also conducted emergency responder trainings for local fire, police and emergency service departments.

There are many ways for you to get involved with NSDM too. There’s still time to try your luck with the Call 811 Campaign’s “Can You Dig It?” online game. Great prizes for the lucky winners include an iPad Mini, Kindle Fire HD, Apple TV, gift cards and more. So check out the game, and remember to tell friends and family to make the 811 Promise.

And if you are doing something to raise awareness about safe digging, let us know in the comments below.

Christina Nyquist

About Christina Nyquist

Christina Nyquist is the Communications Specialist for the American Gas Association. Prior to joining AGA, Christina served as a Writer/Editor and Public Affairs Specialist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Christina holds a master’s degree from the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs.
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