Safe Digging

Call 811 before you dig – It’s the LAW!

Safe digging saves lives. Don’t risk it – always call 811 at least three days before starting any digging projects.

Consequences of Unsafe Digging

Not only is it illegal to not notify UGI Energy Services (UGIES) before digging or excavating near a UGIES pipeline, but it can potentially be costly.

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Fines and repair costs

County, state, and federal regulators can issue heavy fines to both the person digging and the company responsible.

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Interrupted services

If these underground utilities are disturbed, it can cause major interruptions for the surrounding community—even putting people, businesses, and livelihoods at risk.

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Injury and death

Severe and fatal injuries can occur when dealing with a damaged pipeline.

Signs of a Potential Leak

Natural gas leaks are rare, but it’s important to know the sights, smells, and noises that may indicate a leak.

  • An odor similar to rotten eggs
  • Dead or dying plants on or near a pipeline
  • Bubbling or blowing water in a pond, creek, or river
  • Dirt blowing into the air
  • Roaring, hissing, or bubbling sounds

Steps to Take During a Leak

If you notice any of the above signs or anything else that appears unusual near a pipeline location, immediately:

  • Leave the area on foot – do NOT use vehicles or anything that could be a potential ignition source
  • Move to a safe location and call 911
  • Call UGIES’ dispatch number: 1-800-276-2722
  • Warn others to avoid the area

Safe Digging Topics


UGIES works with landowners to ensure farming operations can continue with little to no interruption.

Many typical agricultural activities are permitted on a pipeline right-of-way, but some require written consent.

Examples of Permitted Operations
  • Plowing
  • Seeding
  • Fertilizing
  • Planting
  • Tilling
  • Baling
  • Harvesting
Examples of Operations Requiring Written Consent
  • Brush clearing
  • Fencing/landscaping
  • Ditching, trenching, or installing drain tile
  • Auguring
  • Explosives
  • Any ground disturbance that removes or adds soil cover to the pipeline


Some UGIES natural gas pipeline utilities are buried as little as one foot underground, so even a regular shovel can cause extensive damage. Big or small, any new digging projects on your property shouldn’t start until you’ve called 811. It’s free, it’s quick, and it could save lives.

Right-of-Way Etiquette

In simple terms, crossing, or “encroachment” means conducting work or driving over a pipeline right-of-way (ROW). This can include:

  • Digging holes or trenches
  • Building a shed or outbuilding
  • Installing or replacing fencing
  • Driving, transporting, or turning around heavy equipment

All these activities – and others – require written consent from UGIES so we can ensure the continued safety and integrity of the pipeline. Without taking appropriate measures, driving over a pipeline even once can damage the integrity of the pipe. For pipelines designed to last decades, UGIES works to distribute the weight of pipeline crossings and minimize impact to the pipeline.

Working Near Pipelines

Before starting work on a pipeline right-of-way, you must:

  1. Obtain approval from the pipeline operator
  2. Have a pipeline operator present before beginning the work

Beginning your project without receiving proper approval can put you at risk of damaging the pipeline, receiving fines and penalties, and even injury or death. Don’t take the risk!

Safe Digging Contacts

UGI Utilities Dispatch phone number: 1-800-276-2722