Atmos Energy: Underground Pipelines Bring National Safe Digging Month to Surface

Calling 811 Before Digging Reduces Risk of Damaged Pipelines by 99 Percent

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Atmos Energy employee demonstrates the proper way to safely locate and mark underground natural gas pipelines.

DALLAS--()--Atmos Energy’s natural gas pipelines are damaged, on average, 10 times each day in Texas, and National Safe Digging Month aims to remind all Texans to call 811 before digging. A simple call can prevent traffic delays, evacuations, and in serious cases, injury.

“The greatest risk to our natural gas pipelines is accidental damage while digging,” said John Paris, president of Atmos Energy’s Mid-Tex division. “Even minor damage, such as a scrape, dent, or crease in a pipeline or its coating, can cause a leak.”

The Federal Communications Commission first declared April as National Safe Digging Month in 2005. This monumental action established 8-1-1 as the national number to call to have all utility lines properly marked. The 811 program is provided at no charge and prevents risk of outages and threats to life and property.

“A call to 811 is easy and free. It’s the law in every state that we serve that all excavators call 811 at least two business days before digging on public or private property,” said Paris. “Once utility lines are marked, it is important to dig with care. Using handtools and staying within the digging tolerance zone helps keep utility lines and you safe.”

Mike Losawyer, president of Texas 811 agrees. “All it takes is a single call to 811 to get underground utilities located and flagged prior to a dig. The call is free, and so is the locating service.”


Atmos Energy invites the community to The Dallas Farmers Market, April 1, 2016 at 10 a.m. to kick off National Safe Digging Month. The event will also be the culmination of the 811th tree planted across Texas by Atmos Energy, Texas 811 and Texas Trees Foundation.

About Atmos Energy

Atmos Energy Corporation, headquartered in Dallas, is one of the country's largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving more than 3 million natural gas distribution customers in about 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West. Atmos Energy manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas and also provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers primarily in the Midwest and Southeast. For more information, visit Atmos Energy can also be accessed through social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Atmos Energy Corporation
Jennifer Altieri, 972-855-3164

Release Summary

April is National Safe Digging Month to raise awareness of the importance to call 811 before digging.


Atmos Energy Corporation
Jennifer Altieri, 972-855-3164