Call Before You Dig

811_OUPS_VersionIf you’re planning a landscaping or construction project around your home in the months ahead, simply call the Ohio Utility Protection Service (OUPS) at 811 or 1-800-362-2764 – call two business days before you start. Your call will alert us and other utilities of your excavation plans, and gives us the opportunity to notify you or mark where underground utility lines are located on your property. This free service can help protect you from personal injury or property damage, and prevents interruption of your natural gas and other utility service. Whether you operate heavy equipment or use handheld tools, when you work around power lines and natural gas pipelines remember to be safe. On the job site, always be aware of electric power lines and gas pipelines. Be safe — call before you dig.

Know the warning signs of a gas pipeline leak:

    • A rotten egg smell.
    • A hissing sound.
    • Dirt spraying into the air.
    • Continual bubbling in a pond or creek.
    • Plants that seem to be dead or dying for no reason.

If you suspect a natural gas leak:

    • Warn others and leave the area quickly.
    • Do not use electricity, cell phones, flashlights or fire, as a spark could ignite the gas.
    • Leave equipment, do not turn off engines or generators.
    • Leave the excavation open. Do not operate pipeline valves or bury the line.
    • Call 911 and The Energy Cooperative at 1-800-255-6815 immediately.
    • Stay away from the area until safety officials say it is safe to return.

The Purpose and Reliablity of Natural Gas Pipelines:

Purpose: To safely transport natural gas.

Reliability: Our natural gas pipelines are installed only by qualified professionals and tested for leakage before they become operational.

If your vehicle or equipment contacts an electric power line.

    • Stay on the equipment or in the vehicle until rescue workers say it is safe to get off.
    • Warn others away. Anyone who touches the equipment or even the ground nearby may be injured or killed.
    • Have someone call 911 and The Energy Cooperative at 1-800-255-6815 immediately.
    • If fire or other danger forces you off – jump clear and keep both feet together without touching the ground and the equipment/vehicle at the same time. Shuffle away with small steps, keeping your feet close together and on the ground, or hop away on two feet keeping both feet together.
    • Electricity can spread out through the ground from a fallen line, so shuffling or hopping will prevent electricity from traveling up one of your legs and down the other. This is important to avoid electrocution.

See the diagram below for optimal distances from overhead powerlines when planting trees and bushes.