NW Natural Reminds Homeowners and Contractors to Call 811 Before Digging

Media Contact: Daphne Mathew, NW Natural daphne.mathew@nwnatural.com, 503-818-9845 (pager)


April 1, 2016


NW Natural Reminds Homeowners and Contractors to Call 811 Before Digging

PORTLAND, Ore. — April is National Safe Digging Month, a time when NW Natural, (NYSE:NWN), reminds all contractors, landscapers and homeowners working on big and small projects to call 811 to have underground utilities located before digging.

According to the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), an underground utility line is damaged every six minutes across the nation because someone decided to dig without calling 811. Within NW Natural's service area, approximately 500 unintentional damage events are recorded each year.

"We want to remind homeowners who plan to install fencing, plant trees, or excavate for a garden that a call to 811 is not only important, it's also the law," said Scott Gallegos, NW Natural damage prevention supervisor. "One free and easy phone call to 811 at least two business days before digging can help to prevent a potentially unsafe and costly situation."

"NW Natural actively provides education to contractors on safe digging practices; however, damages continue to occur. When a contractor strikes a gas line, NW Natural offers an innovative training program that may reduce costs associated with line damage for first-time offenders," added Gallegos.

A recent report from the American Gas Association (AGA) reveals there is progress, and pipeline damages are down by 50 percent nationwide, yet they are still the leading cause of more severe pipeline incidents. Although the industry has multiple safeguards in place to protect the customer, it is important that contractors and property owners participate in calling 811 before any digging or excavation.

Remember to follow these simple NW Natural safety guidelines:
Call before you dig. It's the safe, smart thing to do - and it's the law. Smell. Go. Let us Know. If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately. Then call us at 800-882-3377 from a different location.

No accidental gas line damage is too small to report; even a gouge or dent could lead to future problems. To learn more about this important safety topic, visit www.nwnatural.com/Residential/Safety

About NW Natural

NW Natural (NYSE:NWN) is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and provides natural gas service to about 707,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington. It is the largest independent natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Additional information is available at www.nwnatural.com.

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