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Naperville
Thursday, May 23, 2024

‘Call 811 Before You Dig’ during Safe Digging Month

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Above / The large banner promoting “Call 811 before you dig” hangs at the entrance to the Naperville Department of Public Utilities – Electric at 1392 Aurora Avenue. (PN File Photo)

It’s springtime! Birds are singing. Reporters with maps warn that millions of cicadas are about to emerge. And the beep, beep, beep of dump trucks sound as drivers prepare to drop a load of mulch for seasonal planting projects and all that comes naturally this time of year.

As a part of National Safe Digging Month, Nicor Gas again is reminding all property owners to contact 811 before they begin any digging project. This includes jobs such as mailbox/fence installation, planting trees or putting in a pool. It also applies to professional excavators when performing work such as paving, tunneling or blasting.

To ensure the highest level of safety, remember that state law requires a call to 811 before starting any outdoor digging projects.

Making a toll-free call to 811 in advance of digging projects can help prevent injuries, property damages and inconvenient utility outages.

Locators will mark the underground utility lines with color-coded paint, flags or stakes that correspond to utility types. Yellow is used for natural gas provided by Nicor. (PN File Photo)

Follow safe digging guidelines

  • Call 811 before you dig: This first step, which should be done at least two working days prior to excavating (excludes weekends and holidays), connects you to the JULIE one-call center to begin the process of having your underground utility lines located for free. Calls can be made 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Wait the required amount of time for marking: Locators will mark the underground utility lines with color-coded paint, flags or stakes that correspond to utility types. Yellow is used for natural gas.
  • Respect the marks: Use the appropriate digging methods to dig no closer than 18 inches from the marked underground utility lines and request remarking when marks are damaged, removed or no longer visible.
  • Excavate carefully: If a natural gas line is accidentally damaged or the smell of the distinctive, rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas is present, call Nicor Gas at 888-642-6748 or 911 once you are out of the area of the suspected leak and in a safe place. Do not attempt to repair, clamp or constrict a damaged utility line. Be sure to stay away until Nicor Gas or emergency personnel indicate it is safe to return.

For more info about natural gas safety, visit www.nicorgas.com/safety.

Locators mark underground lines for safe digging. (PN File Photo)

Flag Colors and Markings

Anyone digging in Naperville, including homeowners and contractors, must call JULIE at least two working days before digging. Lines located in and around the planned dig area will be marked with different colors:

Yellow (yellow) for gas or oil

Red (red) for electric

Orange (orange) for communications

Blue (blue) for water

Green (green) for sewer

Color-coded flags and spray-painted color-coordinated markings such as the ones shown in the photos are reminders of where not to dig.

Nicor Gas

Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit www.nicorgas.com.

Southern Company Gas

Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company.  Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.4 million natural gas utility customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with more than 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other nonutility businesses include investments in interstate pipelines, asset management for natural gas wholesale customers and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit southerncompanygas.com.  

Submitted by Corporate Communications for Nicor Gas. (PN File Photos)

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