LOS ANGELES, May 13 /PRNewswire/ -- As springtime winds into summer, more and more homeowners will pursue projects in their yards, such as putting up a new wall or fence, planting a tree or putting in a swimming pool. Officials at Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) are encouraging customers to "call before they dig" to avoid hidden natural gas lines. "We're heading into the season when many homeowners are digging on their property, and they don't realize that the gas line that serves their home is located underground and out of sight," said Roy M. Rawlings, senior vice president of distribution operations at Sempra Energy Utilities, The Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric. "Safe and reliable natural gas service is our number one priority. A quick phone call to Underground Service Alert to have utility lines marked can help customers avoid costly damage, possible injury or service interruption." Customers should call Underground Service Alert (USA) at 1-800-227-2600 at least two working days before digging in their yards. As a free service, USA will contact The Gas Company and other area utilities, and the utilities will then locate and mark their respective underground lines at no charge. The Gas Company-owned pipelines typically extend from the gas main, in front of or behind the home, to the gas meter. Customer-owned piping is the line that runs beyond the gas meter to a building or area where gas-fueled equipment or appliances are located. To have these lines located and marked, The Gas Company advises customers to call pipe and leak locating services or plumbing contractors who provide maintenance services. Once all lines are marked, customers should "carefully use only hand- digging tools within two feet of marked gas lines," Rawlings advised. The Gas Company is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 18.9 million consumers through 5.3 million meters. The Gas Company's service territory encompasses 23,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California. The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community. The Gas Company is part of Sempra Energy Utilities, the umbrella for Sempra Energy's regulated California utilities. Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company