Local Contractors And SDG&E Customers Reminded To "Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig"

SAN DIEGO, April 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is reminding local contractors and customers about the importance of calling 8-1-1 before you dig. By contacting this free underground service alert two days before construction starts, contractors and customers can receive visual markings for all the utility lines, cables and pipes in the area, thus avoiding possible injury or damage.

"One of SDG&E's top priorities, and a foundation of the company, is the safety of the public," said Scott Furgerson, vice president of gas operations for SDG&E. "It's critical for contractors and our customers to be engaged directly on safety, and we strongly encourage residents to call 8-1-1 before you dig. This is a great free service we offer to customers that marks utility-owned lines in the community, thereby ensuring the safety of construction projects."

Before digging, contractors and customers should mark the proposed excavation area, and are required by law to call 8-1-1 at least two business days before the project is scheduled to begin. Underground Service Alert will then locate and mark the underground lines, pipes and cables for free, by working with all local utilities, including SDG&E. For more information about safe digging or to submit an online request, visit digalert.org or view this video link

SDG&E-owned pipelines typically extend from the gas main, in front or behind the home or business, to the gas meter. Customer-owned gas pipes are the lines that run from the gas meter to the building or area where gas-fueled equipment or appliances are located, such as a natural gas barbeque. To have these customer-owned lines located and marked before a project, SDG&E advises its customers to call pipe and leak locating service companies or licensed plumbing contractors who provide these services.

If you suspect a gas emergency, or have questions regarding a gas odor or carbon monoxide, please call SDG&E immediately at 800-411-7343. Customers should always remember that natural gas is flammable and that something as simple as a spark can serve as an ignition source. Use your sense of sight, hearing and smell and any of the following signs to alert you to the presence of a gas leak:

Look

  • Dirt or water being blown in the air.
  • Dead or dying vegetation (in an otherwise moist area) over or near pipeline areas.
  • A fire or explosion near a pipeline.
  • Exposed pipeline after an earthquake, fire, flood or other disaster.

Listen

  • An unusual sound, such as a hissing, whistling or roaring sound near a pipeline.

Smell

  • The distinctive odor of natural gas.
  • Although we add a distinctive odor to natural gas to aid in the detection of leaks, you should not rely on your sense of smell alone to determine if you have a gas leak.

For more safety information, visit sdge.com/safety. You can also call SDG&E at 800-411-7343. To find out the approximate location of major gas transmission pipelines, visit the National Pipeline Mapping System website at npms.phmsa.dot.gov/.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)

Hanan Eisenman, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066, sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge

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San Diego Gas & Electric , Sempra Energy