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Call 811 Before You Dig

Did you know that an underground utility line is damaged once every three minutes nationwide?

The good news is that nearly all of these accidents can be prevented by calling 811 before digging. Excavation work is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies. This includes something as small as digging or plowing around a home for an improvement project to breaking ground on a new building development. If you’re getting outside this spring and summer to do work in your yard, 811 should be part of your project checklist.

When you proactively call 811 before breaking ground, professional utility locators visit the property free of charge to mark the land where underground pipelines exist. That way, you know the spots to avoid and limit the need to call emergency repair crews, all while respecting your neighbors and the area around you.

Calling before digging on any property is the law

 Knowing where to dig is as easy as:

  1. Call 811 to schedule your appointment.

  2. Professional locators will survey the site, then identify and mark underground lines for free.

  3. Break ground!

Safe digging makes for safe communities. Do your part to protect yourself and your neighbors. Call 811 before you dig! 

Respect the Marks and Excavate Carefully

Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods and hand dig within 24 inches of the marked utility lines. This will help prevent any damage to underground utility lines.

Make sure the marks remain visible during the entire project. If the marks are damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 811 to have lines re-marked. Excavation work, including hand digging with a spade or shovel or plowing around a home or business is the most common cause of natural gas emergencies. If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of natural gas is present, call 911 and the Nicor Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 888.Nicor4U (888.642.6748) from a safe location. Do not operate any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

*Residents within the city of Chicago dial 312.744.7000.

Watch and Protect for Business Customers

Nicor Gas monitors excavation activities around critical infrastructure. If, after contacting JULIE, it is determined that your project location is near a critical natural gas line, you will be contacted by a member of our Watch and Protect team. In many instances, a Nicor Gas representative will be onsite during digging. This service is free.

Part of a Professional Construction Crew? Show Your Support!

Ready to be an advocate for calling 811 and encourage your peers to do the same? Download our 811 Toolkit to share on your social media accounts! 

Businessowners, future customers and the general public want to know that construction crews and contractors are responsible members of the communities where they operate. Show them you respect the law and follow proper protocol by calling 811 before digging.

Click here to download the toolkit.