MINNEAPOLIS – June 25, 2012 – Warmer weather has led to an increase in digging projects, resulting in more damages to underground natural gas lines compared to last year. CenterPoint Energy reminds homeowners and contractors to call 811 before digging or excavating. One free call to 811 before digging can prevent injuries, property damage, service disruption and possibly costly fines for causing damage to buried d infrastructure.
“To date, we have had an increase of more than 50 percent in damages from excavators working on construction projects as well as homeowners who have dug into a natural gas line in their own yards,” said Kris Tande, supervisor of Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy. “Each year, more than 150,000 underground utility lines are struck in the United States and approximately one third of the damages occurred from failure to call 811 prior to excavation.”
It is important to dig with C.A.R.E:
• Call 811 before your dig.
• Allow at least 48 business hours for the utility lines to be marked.
• Respect the marks, hand dig within 24-inches of the marks.
• Excavate carefully. The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. So, whether it’s a small project like planting trees or shrubs, or hiring a professional for a special outdoor project, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.
Since the 811 “Call Before You Dig” campaign was created in 2004, there has been a 58 percent reduction in excavation damages. Homeowners and professional excavators in Minnesota can make their requests on the Gopher State One Call website.
Learn more and promise to always call 811 before digging by visiting the 811 promise.
CenterPoint Energy, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a domestic energy delivery company that includes electric transmission and distribution, natural gas distribution, competitive natural gas sales and services, interstate pipelines and field services operations. The company serves more than five million metered customers primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. Assets total more than $22 billion. With about 8,800 employees, CenterPoint Energy and its predecessor companies have been in business for more than 135 years. In Minnesota, CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving about 800,000 customers in 260 communities. The utility also operates a non-regulated business in Minnesota called Home Service Plus®. For more information, visit CenterPointEnergy.com