WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 9, 2019) – In support of National 811 Day, Washington Gas is reminding customers and contractors to always call 811 a few days before digging to have underground utility lines appropriately marked to avoid potential damage to gas lines and other critical infrastructure. According to industry statistics, in the United States every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged as the result of someone deciding to dig without calling 811 first.
Washington Gas continues to lead several educational initiatives and training sessions promoting 811 across its service territories in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia to help reduce damage caused by homeowners and construction crews conducting routine excavation work, such as digging, boring and directional drilling, which is the leading cause of gas leak incidences nationwide. This year, Washington Gas partnered with Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs to help get the word out to homeowners.
National 811 Day, celebrated annually on August 11, is an opportunity to join with the industry and general public to promote the effectiveness of the Call Before You Dig campaign, remind everyone about the importance of safe digging, and create awareness about how the free 811 service helps to prevent injury, property damage, interrupted service, as well as protect the community and maintain safety as a priority.
“Washington Gas is urging individuals and contractors to embrace the Call Before You Dig program and commit to dialing 811 each and every time before starting any digging project to identify utility lines and ensure the safety of customers, neighbors and the communities we proudly serve in the DC-region,” said Adrian Chapman, President and CEO of Washington Gas. “We have consistently worked hand-in-hand with state regulatory commissions, industry associations and community partners throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia on several fronts to champion the value of calling 811, and we applaud the success of our collective efforts to significantly reduce damage to our gas distribution system and ensure we continue to deliver reliable and safe service to our more than 1.1 million customers.”
Washington Gas operates roughly 13,000 miles of distribution main and approximately 12,500 miles of service lines across its service territory. Since 1989, the company’s damage prevention programs have dramatically reduced damages from an average of more than 8 strikes per 1,000 requests for assistance identifying underground utilities, to about 1 strike per 1,000 requests reported today.
Washington Gas encourages contractors and homeowners to dig with CARE:
- Call or contact 811 before you excavate
- Allow time for markings: at least two full business days
- Respect the markings: only hand dig within 18” of the marks in MD/DC and 24” in VA
- Excavate carefully: avoid any contact with the utilities
For more information, please visit http://call811.com/, The Common Ground Alliance at https://commongroundalliance.com, or Washington Gas’ Natural Gas e-book that includes Resources, Safety Tips and Emergency Information, https://washingtongas.dcatalog.com/v/Natural-Gas-101/#page=8.
About WGL and Washington Gas
The WGL family of companies—Washington Gas, WGL Energy, WGL Midstream and Hampshire Gas—are now indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of AltaGas Ltd [TSX:ALA]. WGL is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is a leading source for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. With activities and assets across the U.S., WGL provides options for natural gas, electricity, green power and energy services, including generation, storage, transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. Our calling as a company is to make energy surprisingly easy for our employees, our community and all our customers. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, small business or multinational corporation, state and local or federal agency, WGL is here to provide Energy Answers. Ask Us. For more information, visit us at wgl.com and @wglanswers.
WGL’s regulated natural gas utility, Washington Gas, provides safe, reliable natural gas service to more than 1.1 million customers in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. The company has been providing energy to residential, commercial and industrial customers for 171 years. Visit us at www.washingtongas.com and follow us on Twitter @washingtongas.