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April 1, 2013

Contact: Cynthia Messina, (702) 365-2044

Southwest Gas Recognizes National Safe Digging Month
Call Before You Dig to have utility lines marked

Victorville, Calif. – Safety is always a priority at Southwest Gas. That’s why we’re joining with the California Regional Common Ground Alliance (CRCGA) to recognize April as National Safe Digging Month.

This annual campaign reminds homeowners and contractors about the importance of calling 811 a few days before starting any digging or underground excavation project so utility-owned lines can be properly marked and avoided. The call is free, quick and easy, and helps to ensure public safety and avoid unnecessary injuries and expenses.

"Smart digging means calling 811," said Bill Chunn a member of the CRCGA and director of gas operations at the Southern California Division of Southwest Gas. "Whether it’s for a small project like planting a tree, 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. It protects those doing the work and helps to ensure public safety. And, it's the smart thing to do," he added.

For more information on National Safe Digging Month, visit and remember:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • Respect the marks and hand dig within 24-inches of natural gas pipelines.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Do not allow work to begin if the lines aren't marked.

As part of its ongoing commitment to safety, Southwest Gas reminds the public that 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—should leave the area immediately and call 911 and Southwest Gas at 1-800-867-9091 from a safe location. In addition, California residents should make sure they have a functioning carbon monoxide alarm as required by Health and Safety Code §17926.

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

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