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New 8-1-1 Call Before You Dig Hotline Saves Virginians Time and Money


Consumers can call 8-1-1 to prevent damage, injury and delay

Springtime is here and many property owners and professional contractors are taking advantage of the warm weather to undertake landscaping and outdoor projects that require digging or excavating. Virginia Natural Gas urges landowners and contractors to dial the new toll-free “Call Before You Dig” hotline, 8-1-1, before beginning a project.

“Exercising caution when digging around gas lines is important in maintaining safe and reliable gas service,” said Robert Duvall, vice-president of Virginia Natural Gas. “Locating underground gas lines is a service Virginia Natural Gas provides free of charge to residents and businesses.”

Dialing 8-1-1 will connect callers to the Virginia damage prevention center. This quick and efficient one call center notifies the appropriate local utilities, which then send locators or locate technicians to the requested site to mark the approximate location of underground lines. Virginia Natural Gas will mark the surface locations of buried natural gas service lines at the job site, which helps prevent liability for damage and fines.

According to Duvall, it is important for residents and contractors to call before beginning any outdoor project. “Safety is good business and even small, do-it-yourself jobs like planting a tree and installing a mailbox should be marked to prevent possible injury and costly damage,” he continued.

Created to eliminate the confusion of multiple “Call Before You Dig” numbers across the country and to be an easy-to-remember resource, 8-1-1 will make it easier for everyone to call before attempting any digging project. The 8-1-1 number was designated by the FCC in 2005 at the direction of Congress and was officially launched Tuesday, May 1 on the National Mall in Washington, DC by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). CGA is a member-driven association of nearly 1,400 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry.


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