Virginia Natural Gas urges customers to call 811 before they dig

Posted at 6:53 PM, Mar 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 18:53:34-04

Virginia Beach, Va. – Virginia Natural Gas wants to remind homeowners and contractors to call 8-1-1 to prevent damaging underground utility lines.

According to Virginia Natural Gas, spring is the start of “digging season,” when people start to work on outdoor projects.

By calling 8-1-1, homeowners and contractors are connected to the Virginia Utility Protection Service, which notifies utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are sent to the digging site to mark the approximate horizontal locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint. Once the lines have been marked, digging can begin.

Here are a few digging guidelines from Virginia Natural Gas:

  • Call 8-1-1 or 1-800-552-7001 before you dig: Calls to the free locating can be made up to 14 days in advance. The requests to have public utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, electric, water, sewer, telephone and cable lines, can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Allow the required time for marking: After you call 8-1-1, wait the required time to have the underground utilities marked. The approximate location of the underground utility lines will be marked with pray paint, flags or stakes corresponding to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.
  • Pay attention to the marks: Once the lines are marked, dig no closer than 24 inches from the marked utility lines.
  • Excavate carefully: Make sure marks remain visible during the project. If they are illegible or removed, call 8-1-1 to have the lines re-marked.

If a Virginia Natural gas pipeline is accidentally damaged or you smell gas, call 911 and then 1-877-572-3342 from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

For information about natural gas safety, visit