Safety Guidelines for Earth Day Projects

This weekend we celebrate all things Planet Earth. If you plan on giving back to Mother Nature through outdoor projects, Virginia Natural Gas wants to remind you of ways to keep you safe.

April is also National Safe Digging Month.

Also check out the Weekend Planner for some great Earth Day celebrations going on around Hampton Roads.


The following are safety digging guidelines:

  • Call 8-1-1 Before You Dig: When starting an outdoor project involving digging, customers are
    advised to make contacting Virginia Utility Protection Service at 8-1-1 or 1-800-552-7001 part of
    their plans. Calls to the free locating service can be made up to 14 days in advance. The requests
    to have utility operators mark underground facilities, including natural gas, water, cable, telephone
    and electric lines, can be made 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Allow the Required Time for Marking: Before doing any digging, customers are urged to call 8-1-
    1 and wait the required time to have underground utility lines marked. The approximate location of
    underground utility lines will be marked with color-coded spray paint, flags or stakes that
    correspond to the utility. The color used for natural gas is yellow.
  • Respect the Marks: Once the lines are marked, use the appropriate digging methods, which may
    include hand tools, and dig no closer than 24 inches from the marked utility lines.
  • Excavate Carefully: Make sure the marks remain visible during the project. If the lines are
    damaged or removed, customers are encouraged to call 8-1-1 to have lines re-marked. If a natural
    gas line is damaged accidentally or the distinct odor of gas is present, call 9-1-1 or the Virginia
    Natural Gas 24-hour emergency phone line at 1-877-572-3342 from a safe location. Do not operate
    any machinery or any equipment that might cause a spark.

For information about natural gas safety, visit