Why take the risk? Know what’s below before you dig.

Whether you’re building a fence or planting a vegetable garden, find out where underground utility lines are located before you start digging. Hitting a buried natural gas line can cause serious injury and expensive repairs for you and/or your contractor. It can even be fatal.

Contact Ontario One Call to locate underground utilities no less than five business days before starting digging projects of any size. It’s free and it’s the law.


Dig safely around natural gas lines to avoid:

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Seriously hurting yourself, your family or neighbours.

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Damaging property from a leak, fire or explosion.

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Interrupting natural gas service to your community.

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Incurring expensive repairs, charges or legal action.

Causing harm to the environment.

Won’t my contractor take care of this?

Never assume your contractor has taken care of it. Work in collaboration with them, and ask for verification that they’ve requested a locate before they start digging.

Get a locate for projects of all sizes

Illustration of stones, a pathway and plants in a garden

Landscaping

Wooden Fence

Building a fence

Sunflower

Digging a garden

Small house on large driveway

Installing a driveway

Shovel and potted plant on grass

Planting a tree

Illustration of a bridge

Building a deck

Pool with a red and white floaty

Installing a pool

Digging out basement

Waterproofing a basement


What to do before you dig

One

Request a locate


Call 1-800-400-2255 or visit OntarioOneCall.ca at least five business days before starting your project.

You’ll be asked to provide:

  • Your name and address.
  • When work is expected to begin.
  • The type of project (fence, pool, etc.).
  • How you plan to dig (by hand or machine).
  • How deep you’re planning to dig.
Two

Wait for buried lines to be marked


Locators from natural gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunications companies will visit your home and paint or put flags to mark underground lines.

Private lines installed by you or a contractor, such as a gas line from your house to a pool heater or barbecue, are not included as part of this work and will require a separate locate. You’ll need to hire a private locate company to mark these lines and there is a charge for this service.

Three

Respect the marks and dig safely


Once locates have been completed, follow the instructions and proper excavation practices to ensure a safe and smooth project. Review the how-to videos below prior to digging to make sure you are fully informed on what to look for and how to dig safely.

Refer to Enbridge Gas’s Third-Party Requirements Standard for details.


How to dig safely around natural gas lines

One

How to understand your locate

Locates are marked with temporary paint or flags in the ground along the path of buried lines. Each utility is represented by a colour—yellow represents natural gas.


Two

How to keep a safe digging clearance around gas lines

As the ground can shift over time, buried lines may have moved. It’s important to keep a one-metre safety clearance on either side of your locates known as the “tolerance zone.”


Three

How to dig around a natural gas line with a hand shovel

When working within the tolerance zone, use a spade or a shovel to carefully expose the line. If you’re working continuously along the line, it must be hand exposed every 4.5 metres.


4

How to recognize a natural gas line

Made of plastic or steel, natural gas lines running to your gas meter range from 1 – 5 centimeters, while lines running across your property can be as wide as 30 centimeters.


5

How to use mechanical equipment around a natural gas line

Only once a line has been exposed can you use mechanical equipment—but not within 1 metre of the line. You can also use it to remove concrete, provided you go no deeper than its thickness.  
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How to know if you've damaged a natural gas line

If you smell rotten eggs, hear an unusual hissing sound, or see dust or leaves blowing in a localized area, you may have nicked a line. Stop work immediately and call 911 then Enbridge Gas at 1-866-763-5427.



Know the colour codes

Locates show the direction and approximate location of the natural gas line, but do not show their depth. A natural gas line could lie just a few inches below the surface.

Yellow
Yellow: Natural gas, oil, steam
Green
Green: Sewer, storm
Red
Red: Electric
Orange
Orange: Communication
Blue
Blue: Water
Purple
Purple: Irrigation, slurry
Pink
Pink: Temporary survey markings
White
White: Proposed excavation

What to do if you damage a natural gas line or smell gas

X

Stop work immediately.

Person

Clear everyone from the area.

Nose

Call 911 if you smell or hear gas escaping.

Phone Ringing

Call the Enbridge Gas emergency line at 1-866-763-5427.

Businesswoman looking at tablet

Are you a contractor?

Hitting an underground utility can delay your project and put your crew, company and community at serious risk. Learn how to excavate safely to prevent injury, fines and penalties.

See safe digging tips

Businesswoman looking at tablet

Planning work near vital pipelines?

When you request a locate from Ontario One Call, the locate service provider may identify that a vital natural gas pipeline is within 30m of the proposed work area. Legally, you can’t begin work until a you obtain a clearance.

More information

Request your free locate

Call 1-800-400-2255 or submit your request online no less than five business days before starting your project.