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Have a digging project planned?

Nicor Gas reminds community to “call before you dig” during Safe Digging Month

NAPERVILLE, ILL. – April 3, 2023 – Warmer temperatures have finally arrived and before customers spring into outdoor home projects, Nicor Gas is reminding communities to “call before you dig” in observance of Safe Digging Month this April.

Nicor Gas encourages customers to dial 811 to have underground utility lines marked before any digging or excavation project. This includes fence installation, paving projects or installing a pool. It also applies to professional excavators when performing any work such as tunneling, grading, boring or blasting. Contacting JULIE, Illinois' one-call center at, is also recommended for smaller, manual jobs such as planting trees or installing mailboxes.  

“Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, inconvenient service disruptions and costly repairs,” said Pat Whiteside, senior vice president of Operations for Nicor Gas. “Making a free request to 811, online or over the phone before digging will help homeowners maintain essential utility service for themselves and reduce the likelihood of accidentally digging into buried utility lines.”

Nicor Gas has more than 34,300 miles of natural gas infrastructure across Northern Illinois. In addition to those lines, there are underground communications cables, water and sewer lines, and other utility lines on every property. Knowing where underground infrastructure is before putting a shovel in the dirt helps prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient service outages.

To protect these underground utilities and help ensure communities stay safe and connected, Nicor Gas offers the following safe digging guidelines:

  • Contact 811 Before You Dig: Before starting an outdoor digging project, contact 811 or visit to request having underground utility lines marked at least two days prior to digging. This service is free and required by law. 

  • Allow the Required Time for Marking: After contacting 811, allow time for the underground utility lines to be marked before digging. The approximate location of the lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that correspond to the utility. The natural gas markings will be yellow. 

  • Respect the Marks: Only use hand digging tools in areas near the utility line markings. 

  • Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the markings are no longer visible, contact to have lines remarked. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinctive rotten-egg odor associated with natural gas is present, call 911 or Nicor Gas’ 24-hour emergency phone line at 888-Nicor4U (888-642-748) from a safe location.

For more information about natural gas safety, visit

About 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

About 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 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit 

Media Contact:
Allison Gregoire