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Nicor Gas reminds communities to call before you dig

NAPERVILLE, IL – August 11, 2023 – Nicor Gas promotes safe-digging practices year-round, and to celebrate 811 Day (celebrated nationally on Aug. 11) is launching the “Doggone It Sweepstakes” on Nicor Gas’ Facebook, Instagram and X, formerly known as Twitter, channels. Customers are encouraged to submit a photo of their dog digging for a chance to win a $200 gift card. Whether a professional excavator or weekend warrior, state law requires a call to 811 before starting any outdoor digging project.

Nicor Gas encourages customers to dial 811 to have underground utility lines marked before any digging project. The nationwide toll-free number to have underground utilities marked is 811 and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Dialing 811 in advance of digging projects, such as fence installation, paving projects or installing a pool could keep your family and community safe, prevent damage to underground utilities and save on potentially costly fines and service interruptions; and it’s the law. It also applies to professional excavators when performing any work such as tunneling, grading, boring or blasting. Contacting 811 is also recommended for smaller, manual jobs such as planting trees or installing mailboxes. 

After a click or call to 811, JULIE (Illinois’ one-call center) then notifies the appropriate utility companies of the intent to dig. Professional locators are sent to the requested dig site to mark the approximate locations of underground utilities with flags, paint or both – the service is free.

To protect 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 three 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 811 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 the Nicor Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-888-Nicor4U (1-888-642-6748) from a safe location.

For more information about the Doggone It Sweepstakes, 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:
Jennifer Golz