Call BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 or click on bconecall.ca to located buried natural gas lines before you dig.

Hey Surrey: Call, you dig?

City among province's top three offenders when it comes to hitting FortisBC's buried natural gas lines.

Unless you have up to a quarter-million dollars lying around to pay for a dumb mistake, FortisBC is reminding both contractors and homeowners to watch out for natural gas lines before digging a hole.

In 2015, there were more than 1,000 preventable contacts with FortisBC’s buried natural gas lines. With 94 line hits last year, Vancouver ranked first among the areas with the most preventable contacts with FortisBC’s natural gas infrastructure. Central Okanagan had the second highest amount of damage with 72 line hits, and Surrey hit 68 to round out the top three offenders in B.C.

“While virtually all natural gas line hits are preventable, we still saw a slight increase from the previous year in the number of contacts with our infrastructure,” said Doyle Sam, executive vice-president of FortisBC operations and engineering.

Those who damage the lines are responsible for the cost of the repairs, with the bills for 2015 breakage ranging from $250 to $250,000. In total, contractors and homeowners had to pay approximately $2.5 million to repair damaged gas lines.

There is a cheaper way. The best way to ensure safety is to call BC One Call (1-800-474-6886) or go to bconecall.ca before starting a dig. The call – or click – is free, but needs to be done three days in advance of the start of the project.

BC One Call will notify member companies that have buried utilities in the specific dig area, including FortisBC, which will provide the necessary information.

“Call before you dig is the first step to ensure your safety and damage prevention, said  said Gary Metz, executive director of BC One Call. “Many types of underground lines serve your home or construction site, including gas and electricity, but also water, telephone and cable TV can be located only a few feet beneath the surface. Knowing what underground facilities are buried in or near a job site that involves excavation or personal property is essential to avoid potentially dangerous accidents that could result from hitting a line.”

In addition to the direct cost of repairs to damaged lines, numerous indirect costs have to be paid by contractors and individuals for things such as work delays and legal fines.

“It’s important to remember that whether you’re gardening, planting a tree, installing a fence or excavating, you can stay safe and avoid unexpected costs by calling BC One Call before starting work to get your free natural gas line location details,” Metz said.

For more information on gas line safety and safe excavation practices, visit fortisbc.com/safedigging or bconecall.ca. You can also watch a “Call Before You Dig” video.

Three steps for safe digging:

1. Call or click: Call BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886 or click on bconecall.ca to make an e-ticket locate request.

2. Review: Within two days, you’ll receive your natural gas line location information. Review it before digging.

3. Clarify: Need help understanding where it’s safe to dig? Call FortisBC at 1-888-822-6555.

 

 

Just Posted

McCallum says Surrey LRT communication plan close to election is ‘perceived interference’

McCallum ‘gravely concerned’ Surrey and TransLink will violate election financing rules, but city says all rules will be followed

Two Surrey volleyballers set to play for Team Canada

Brianna Beamish and Kiera Van Ryk in Japan for FIVB World Championships

Surrey school trustees want to see reliance on portables reduced by 50% in five years

Board votes unanimously to request a meeting with Minister of Education

UPDATE: Police seeking witnesses to fatal Surrey hit-and-run

A pedestrian was killed Thursday night in a crash on Highway 10 near 152nd Street

Surrey woman with autism has scooter stolen from SkyTrain station

Kayla Polege purchased scooter after ‘shutdowns’ on transit

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

Free vet clinic caters to pets of homeless, low income people

The first such clinic in Langley will take place later this month.

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

Extradition hearing set for Lower Mainland developer accused of fraud

Mark Chandler will go before the B.C. Court of Appeals early next year.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

UPDATE: Police ID man in suspicious Richmond death

A body was found in the area of Garden City and Odlin Roads in Richmond just after 8:30am Thursday

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read