DO YOUR PART AND DIG SMART.
CONTACT INDIANA 811 BEFORE YOU DIG
Indiana state law requires excavators to contact Indiana 811 at least two full working days, not including weekends or holidays, prior to their planned start date to notify member utility operators of their intent to dig.
FOLLOW THE FIVE STEPS OF SAFE DIGGING:
- Plan your project, including knowing the exact location.
- Contact Indiana 811 by calling 811 or visiting Indiana811.org/submit-a-ticket.
- Wait for the marks (typically two full working days).
- Confirm the marks. Compare marks at dig site to list of utilities on your ticket.
- Dig with care. Expose underground facilities within tolerance zone by hand digging.
Additional Indiana dig law information can be found here.
RECOGNIZING A SUSPECTED LEAK
Use your senses of sight, sound and smell to recognize a suspected leak hazard.
SIGHT — Natural gas is colorless, but there are some visual signs of a leak:
- Blowing dirt or bubbling water
- Vapor clouds
- Dead vegetation
- Frozen soil/ice
For hazardous liquid pipelines, look for:
- Pools of liquid or sheen on water
- Dense white cloud/fog above
SOUND — For both natural gas and hazardous liquids, signs of a potential leak include an unusual hissing or roaring sound along the right-of-way of a pipeline.
SMELL — Both transmission natural gas and hazardous liquids have a stale, unusual scent. Local natural gas distribution operators add mercaptan closer to homes and businesses, giving gas a “rotten egg” smell.
IF A LEAK OCCURS…
DO abandon all equipment and leave the leak area immediately.
DO remove all ignition sources (cigarettes, mobile phones or anything that could create a spark or static electricity, like turning a light switch on or off).
DO get to a safe location before calling 911 and the pipeline company. After the site is secure, notify Indiana 811 of the damage.
DO warn others to stay out of the leak area.
DO wait for emergency responders to arrive from a safe distance.
DO NOT touch, breathe or make contact with the leak or open flames. Natural gas and other hazardous liquid products will ignite and burn. If exposed to the skin, serious irritations may occur. Escaping gases can displace oxygen, putting your ability to breathe normally at risk.
DO NOT light anything that produces an open flame.
DO NOT start motor vehicles or any other electrical equipment that could produce a spark.
DO NOT operate any pipeline valves. Only the pipeline operator should turn off the flow of natural gas, oil or any other material transported by the pipeline.
DO NOT attempt to extinguish any fire. Instead, wait for first responders to arrive from a safe distance.
CONTACT INDIANA 811 BEFORE ANY DIGGING PROJECT, ESPECIALLY WHEN A CROSS BORE IS SUSPECTED.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), pipelines are the safest and most reliable method of transporting natural gas and hazardous liquid products. The Indiana Pipeline Awareness Association (INPAA) represents all pipeline operators in the state to partner with professional excavators like you for the continued safe operation of these facilities.
US DOT data shows the leading cause of pipeline leaks is third-party excavation, meaning digging activity not performed by the pipeline operator or a direct contractor of that operator. Accidentally striking a pipeline can lead to serious injury or death, making it critical for professional excavators to follow appropriate safety procedures.
INPAA’s goal is to equip you with the knowledge needed to prevent damage to pipelines and to properly recognize and then safely react if you encounter a suspected leak.
Damage prevention is a personal decision and a shared responsibility.