NE 16 0223 BuriedCables

Underground Service Alert encourages you to call before you dig in your yard or at your business.

You may not be aware of where utility or gas lines are located and calling beforehand may help prevent loss of life, injury and/or damage to your property! Visit for more info.

Local companies will visit your location for free to assist with marking lines. Visit and input the information on-line for single address excavations or dial 811 at least 2 working days before starting your work. This will ensure compliance with State law, Government Code Section 4216.9(a), which states "No permit to excavate issued by any local agency, ... or any State agency, shall be valid unless the applicant has been provided an initial inquiry identification number by a regional notification center ...".

Recognizing and Responding to a Natural Gas Leak

A natural gas leak may be present if you:

Smell an odor similar to rotten eggs, even if it's faint or momentary; Hear an unusual hissing or roaring sound coming from the ground or an above-ground pipeline; See dirt or water blowing into the air, discolored vegetation surrounding a pipeline, or standing water continously bubbling.

If you suspect a natural gas leak:

  • Leave the area immediately.
  • From a safe place, call 911 and Southwest Gas at 1-877-860-6020, day or night, whether you're our customer or not.  A Southwest Gas representative will be there as soon as possible.
  • Don't smoke or use matches or lighters.
  • Dont' turn on or off any electric switches, thermostats, or appliance controls; or use automated doors.
  • Don't start or stop an engine.

Althought natural gas pipelines are considered one of the safest methods of energy transportation in the United States, damage to pipelines can occur due to improper excavation, corrosion or natural disasters, which may result in the release of natural gas.  This could result in a natural gas leak which has the potential to lead to evacuations, service outages, ignition, property damage, injury or loss of life.  Timely recognition and response help minimize the potential effected caused by escaping gas.

Calling 811 Minimizes Pipeline Damage

When it comes to underground pipes, maintaining their safe and continual operation is the top priority.  Accomplishing this objective relies on damage prevention.  Improper evacuation remains the number one cause of accidents involving pipelines and the leading cause of the injuries and fatalities that are sustained as a result.  State law requires that excavators call a one-call center at least two business days before starting any digging project so underground lines can be marked.  Making one call to 811 to get lines marked is simple, easy and free.  Everyone from facility owner/operators to excavators has a responsibility to ensure the call is made in order to protect the safety of their employees and that of the people and environment in their communities.

Pipeline Markers

Since most natural gas pipelines are buried underground, line markers are used to indicate the approximate location of the pipeline.  Pipeline markers:

  • Are yellow in color.
  • Are typically seen where a pipeline intersects a street, highway or railway.
  • Are NOT required for all pipeline facilities.
  • Do not indicate the pipeline's depth or exact location.
  • List emergency telephone numbers in case of a natural gas emergency.

Underground Service Alert of Southern California thanks you for your help in keeping us all safe!


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