ATCO Gas Launches Campaign to Help Albertans Dig Safely

Company demonstrates potential danger that exists

 EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2009) - Spring is here and so is the risk of hitting a natural gas line. With homeowners and contractors eager to break ground, ATCO Gas is reminding people to make the call before they dig as hitting natural gas lines is totally preventable.

"ATCO Gas is dedicated to the safety of our staff and the public - and each time a gas line is hit there's a potential for a tragedy," said ATCO Gas President Brian Hahn. "Our company is appealing to Albertans to make that call before they start digging."

The goal is to eliminate gas line hits. Last year, 876 natural gas lines were ruptured or severed across the province. In more than 40 per cent of those incidents homeowners or contractors did not contact Alberta One-Call to locate the lines before they started to dig.

"Fortunately, there have been no serious injuries this year," said Mr. Hahn. "But the outside home renovation and spring construction season is just beginning. Digging without having underground natural gas lines marked first puts lives at risk. And individuals or companies who cause the damage also bear the cost of lost time and charges to repair the line and restore service. We need the support of the community to keep our employees and the public safe - by making digging without locating services a thing of the past."

At a media event today marking Emergency Preparedness Week, ATCO Gas demonstrated the dangers of hitting natural gas lines and the complexities that can be encountered when locating them. The event reinforced the important message to call.

"It's your call, please make it," urged Mr. Hahn. "Before you dig, call Alberta One-Call at 1-800-242-3447 or online at It's free!"

ATCO Gas, a Canadian Utilities company, is part of ATCO Group and distributes natural gas through a network of close to 36,500 kilometres of underground pipes and service lines. The company operates 62 agency offices across Alberta and serves more than one million customers in nearly 300 communities across the province. Please visit the ATCO Gas website at

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