Chief’s Corner: Call before you dig to have utility lines marked |

Chief’s Corner: Call before you dig to have utility lines marked

Mike Brown

During this time of the year when the “seasonal rush” is in full swing to complete projects before the colder weather sets in, we remind you to call 811 prior to the start of any digging project.

“Whether it’s for a small project like repairing a fence post, or for a larger project that involves underground excavation, it’s important to call 811 so buried utility-owned lines can be marked and avoided,” said Byron Elkins, Southwest’s director of district operations. “Calling 811 prior to the start of any digging project helps to protect those doing the work, the public and the community. It’s free and it’s easy.”

So before digging, be sure to:

Call 811 at least two working days before starting any digging project

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Wait for the site to be marked

Respect the marks

Dig with care

Digging without calling can result in a natural gas leak, which has the potential to disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, cause an evacuation, ignition, property damage, injury, or loss of life, and potentially result in fines and repair costs.

Calling 811 before every digging project gets your underground utility-owned lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.

But be aware, privately owned buried piping will not be located by calling 811.

We also remind anyone who notices a hissing noise coming from the ground or an above-ground pipeline, and/or the smell of rotten eggs — even if the odor is only slight or momentary — to leave the area immediately, call 911 and call Southwest Gas at 1-877-860-6020.

Southwest Gas provides natural gas service to approximately 1.9 million customers in Arizona, California and Nevada.

Other utility listings for reference:

Liberty Energy (CA) 800-782-2506

NV Energy (NV) 775-834-4444

For more natural gas safety and energy efficiency tips visit

“Chief’s Corner” is a regular feature in the North Lake Tahoe Bonanza from North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Chief Mike Brown, offering information, tips and education material on fire safety, emergency preparedness and other pertinent topics.


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