LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A public event was held at the Blackham Coliseum to give demonstrations related to digging and excavation projects.
The event’s goal is stressing the public to dial 811 before breaking ground.
Gas line ruptures from digging happen often and are dangerous situations.
“Annually, we make about a couple hundred gas line rupture emergencies,” says Chad Sonnier, Hazmat Chief with Lafayette Fire Department.
Participating in the event were Louisiana One Call, pipe distributing companies, and area first responders.
Two demonstrations were given with the first showing the excavation team taking the right steps while the second demonstration showed the consequences of not locating underground facilities.
The first step should always be to dial “811” two business days before excavating begins.
A line locator will arrive on the scene to locate and mark areas where underground pipelines are located.
The locator then comes back to the site with a pipeline operator to find ways to safely dig around the line.
“You should always dial 811 before you do any digging, even if it’s planting a tree in your yard,” says Cole Vanderlick, who’s with Enertech.
If a gas line does rupture, you should not stay in the area as the gas can be both toxic and flammable.
“You move to a safe area, away from the hot zone,” says Terry Thibodeaux with Atmos energy.
Locating underground pipelines before digging can save both life and property.