Digging in the Yard? Watch Out for Gas Lines, The Gas Company Warns

May 13, 2003, 01:00 ET from Southern California Gas Company

    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

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company