MOBILE, Ala., April 21, 2009 – The arrival of warm, spring weather means more local residents and contractors will be working outdoors, and Mobile Gas is urging customers to take some important steps to avoid damaging underground natural gas lines.
According to Mobile Gas, there were nearly 450 customer and contractor “dig-ins,” involving company pipelines last year. The utility is seeking to decrease these incidents in 2009 through increased public awareness.
“Since natural gas pipelines are underground and out of sight, we urge homeowners to make a quick phone call to Alabama One Call at 8-1-1 to have their utilities identified and marked for free,” said Jason Weekley, director of field operations for Mobile Gas. “Taking the time to make this simple call will help customers avoid service interruptions or potential injuries.”
Calls to Alabama One Call prior to digging are required under state law and should be made 48 hours prior to starting a job. "Once all lines are marked, customers should carefully use only hand-digging tools within two feet of marked gas lines,” Weekley said.
To find out if natural gas transmission pipelines are in a specific area, visit the National Pipeline Mapping System Web site at www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov.
Mobile Gas is a natural gas utility serving approximately 95,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Mobile and the surrounding areas of southwest Alabama. The utility is a unit of Sempra Energy’s Sempra Pipelines & Storage subsidiary. Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.