Working in the garden this spring? Watch out for buried gas lines, The Gas Company warns

May 3, 2006

Media Contact:
Denise King

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, May 3, 2006 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) is encouraging customers to “call before they dig” to avoid hidden natural gas lines when pursuing projects in their yard, such as putting up a new wall or fence, planting or re-working landscaping, putting in a swimming pool, or other yard renovations. 

        “During the warmer months, many homeowners begin projects which require digging on their property,” said Hal Snyder, vice president of gas transmission and distribution for The Gas Company.  “Since gas lines that serve their home are located underground and out of sight, we urge homeowners to make a quick phone call to Underground Service Alert to have utilities marked.  This will help them avoid unnecessary and costly damage, possible injury or service interruption.”

        According to The Gas Company, there are more than 5,700 customer and contractor “dig-ins,” preventable accidents annually, which the company hopes will decrease through increased public awareness.

        Customers should call Underground Service Alert (USA) at (800) 227-2600 at least two working days before digging in their yard.  As a free service, USA will contact The Gas Company and other area utilities, and the utilities will then locate and mark their respective underground facilities.
The Gas Company-owned pipelines typically extend from the gas main, in front of or behind the home, to the gas meter.

        Customer-owned piping is the line that runs beyond the gas meter to a building or area where gas-fueled equipment or appliances are located.  To have these lines located and marked, The Gas Company advises customers to call pipe and leak locating services or plumbing contractors who provide maintenance services.

        "Once all lines are marked, customers should carefully use only hand-digging tools within two feet of marked gas lines,” Snyder advised.

        The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters.  The company’s service territory covers approximately 20,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California.  The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to