BATON ROUGE, LA – Spring is here and warmer temperatures may have you wanting to get out and make your landscape look gorgeous. Since the first step in any project is to do your research, Entergy Louisiana reminds you to grab your phone first and call 811 before working that shovel.
April is National Safe Digging Month. The focus is on preventing serious consequences that could occur from digging without knowing what’s beneath the surface. Regardless of what you plan to do or how deep you plan to go underground, every job requires a call first - even if you've called before for a similar project.
“Our state has its own 811 call center to help you stay safe while digging,” said Dennis Dawsey, vice president of Customer Service. “Call center representatives can advise you how to submit requests to learn what structures may be buried beneath the ground, such as natural gas pipelines, electric power lines and other services.”
Utility line depth varies and there may be multiple utility lines in one common area. The risk of striking an underground utility line exists even when digging only a few inches.
All utilities must respond within two business days to requests made through calling 811. Professional locators mark the approximate locations of underground lines at the requested digging site with flags, paint or both. Markings show the approximate location of underground lines and help prevent undesired consequences such as injury, service disruptions or costly fines and repair costs.
“Safety is our top priority for customers,” said Dawsey. “We want them to stay away from overhead power lines and avoid an accident caused by digging into an underground utility line.”
If you suspect utility damage of any kind, leave the area immediately and call Entergy toll-free at 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) or local emergency responders. A gas leak could be occurring if you smell the distinctive natural gas odor, hear a hissing or whistling sound near a gas appliance or see dead vegetation or bubbles near a gas line.
Entergy Louisiana provides electric service to more than one million customers and natural gas service to nearly 93,000 customers in the greater Baton Rouge area through the operating company Entergy Louisiana, LLC. With operations in southern, central and northeastern Louisiana, the companies are subsidiaries of Entergy Corporation.