Piedmont Natural Gas reminds homeowners, commercial excavators: Forgetting to 'Call Before You Dig' is unsafe - and can cost you, too

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  • April is National Safe Digging Month

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- With construction activity and outdoor home improvement projects picking up, Piedmont Natural Gas reminds commercial excavators and homeowners alike to call 811 to have pipes and other buried utilities located before they start digging.

Digging accidents by third parties, including excavation contractors and homeowners, are the leading cause of damage to Piedmont's underground natural gas distribution system. Most could be avoided with a free call to 811, the national service that makes it easy to schedule a crew to locate and mark all buried utilities.

"Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged, creating the potential for serious injury and service disruptions, just because someone failed to call 811," said Victor Gaglio, senior vice president in charge of utility operations for Piedmont Natural Gas. "While safety should be everyone's No. 1 priority, contractors and homeowners should also be aware that they can face large fines and repair costs if they don't call."

Gaglio recommends calling 811 at least 72 hours before you plan to dig, and he suggests that you call to have your underground utilities marked even if you aren't planning to dig very deep. Soil erosion or the growth of a tree's root system can bring buried utilities closer to the surface, so it's smart to call before starting any project that involves digging.

Underground lines installed by homeowners – including natural gas lines for grills or decorative lighting, or water and sewer laterals – are not included in the free 811 service and should be marked by a private location service.

Piedmont Natural Gas, along with utilities around the country and industry partners like NC811 and the Common Ground Alliance, recognize April as National Safe Digging Month to remind everyone of the importance of calling 811 before you dig.

For more information on safe digging, please visit www.piedmontng.com/call811.

About Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas, a North Carolina corporation, is an energy services company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas to more than a million residential, commercial, industrial and power generation customers in portions of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Piedmont provides a foundation for establishing a broader strategic natural gas infrastructure platform within Duke Energy to supplement and complement the previous natural gas pipeline investments and the natural gas business located in the Midwest.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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Media contact: Jennifer Sharpe
Office: 704.731.4108 I 24-hour: 877.348.3612