Charlotte J. Cavell
Stay safe by knowing where underground utility lines are located
NEW ORLEANS – Spring is here and with it come warmer temperatures, longer days and outdoor landscaping projects. Since the first step in any project is to do your research, Entergy New Orleans, Inc. 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 – not only now, but year-round. Regardless of what you plan to do, how deep you plan to dig or even if you’ve called before for a similar project, every job requires a call first.
“Safety is always top priority,” said Melonie Stewart, director of customer service for Entergy New Orleans. “Whether you’re a homeowner, business owner or contractor, we want you to avoid an accident or gas leak caused by digging into underground utility lines just like we want you to keep your distance from all overhead utility lines.”
The depth of underground utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in one common area. The risk of striking underground utility lines exists even when digging only a few inches.
“Louisiana has its own 811 call center to help you stay safe while digging,” said Stewart. “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.”
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.
If you suspect utility damage of any kind, leave the area immediately and call 1-800-ENTERGY (1-800-368-3749) or call 911. 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 New Orleans, Inc. is an electric and gas utility that serves Louisiana’s Orleans Parish. The company provides electricity to more than 197,000 customers and natural gas to more than 105,000 customers. Entergy New Orleans is a subsidiary of Entergy Corporation.
Entergy Corporation is an integrated energy company engaged primarily in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, including nearly 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power. Entergy delivers electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of approximately $11.5 billion and more than 13,000 employees.