AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – In recognition of Aug. 11, Atmos Energy reminded area residents and professional excavators to contact “8-1-1” to have underground utility-owned lines located and marked before beginning any digging project.

As noted by the company, the 811 service is a “free, safe and easy way” to avoid damaging an underground utility line. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to local call centers that notify utility companies of intentions to dig. Professional locators then mark the approximate locations of underground, utility-owned lines with flags and/or spray paint.

“By calling 811 you protect yourself, your family and your community,” said Jennifer Ries, Atmos
Energy vice president of pipeline safety. “Striking a natural gas pipeline can lead to injury, repair costs,
inconvenient outages, and fines. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants contacting
811 by phone or online. It’s free. It’s safe. And it’s required by law.”

Utility lines need to be properly marked, said Atmos Energy, because even when projects only reach a few inches into the ground or use a location with previously added marks, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists. The depths for those lines can vary due to circumstances like erosion, previous projects, and uneven surfaces.

With that in mind, the company asked community members to call 811 no matter the digging project, from installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, or laying a patio.

Atmos Energy also invited community members to become safety ambassadors by signing the Call 811 Pledge. Further information about 811 and safe digging practices can be found here, or on the Atmos Energy website.

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