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The natural gas distribution lines are a complex system spanning over 128,000 miles both under and above ground in the Pacific Northwest. This clean energy system delivers natural gas safely and reliably to 3.2 million users.

Interestingly, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration estimates nearly half of all homeowners’ plant a tree or shrub every Fall — it is the best time to plant trees and shrubs — and it’s coming quickly. The cooler weather means less chance for the plants to suffer heat stress and allows the plants to focus on growing roots.

But how does tree, shrub, and bulb planting relate to natural gas?

Simply, it’s easy to hit a natural gas line (as well as a water or electrical line) when digging for simple gardening projects, like digging holes for trees, shrubs, and bulbs. That’s why it’s the law to call and have your utilities located. If you plan to dig, you need to call 811 three to four days before you start digging.

Make 811 part of your Fall planting plan. It’s free and easy to get a professional out to your home to mark the utility lines in the area.

Planning is the key to all fun things. Would you go skydiving without preparing to have all the correct equipment? Or would you take a vacation without planning where you are going? Make call 811 as part of your plan.

The Common Ground Alliance indicates that an underground utility is damaged once every six minutes because someone didn’t call 811 before digging. Preventing disruptions to service, injuries, or worse, we all must do our part to ensure safety for ourselves and our neighbors.

It is not just natural gas buried under the ground; there are oil and steam lines, electric lines, irrigation, water, and sewer lines, communications, and cable tv, as well as natural gas. Utilities cannot do it alone, and YOU, the customer, are the first line of defense in preventing serious harm or damage.

Remember to call 811 as part of your plan when digging in your yard.

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