Letter to Contractors & Excavators

Date: May 2022

To:  Contractors and Excavators operating in Hastings Utilities Gas Department Service area,

Hastings Utilities in accordance with federal regulations is required to periodically communicate with its customers, constituents, government leaders, public safety personnel and contractors about our system’s purpose, reliability, associated hazards, and damage prevention, as well as emergency preparedness measures.

Damage Prevention Awareness and One-Call Requirements

The greatest risk to underground pipelines is accidental damage during excavation. To protect our natural gas pipelines and other underground facilities it is critical that people use the one call system prior to any excavation related activities on public and private property. The law requires that all excavators notify the local one call system, Nebraska811, at 811, (800) 331-5666 or www.ne1call.com before digging and the center will assign an identification number to each notice received. The one-call center will contact the owners of the underground facilities in the immediate area so that they can mark the location of their facilities prior to excavation. There is no charge to the public for this service. The underground facilities in the dig area will be marked with stakes, flags, paint or other clearly identifiable markings.

The underground facility shall be within a strip of land 18 inches on either side of the markings plus one-half of the width of the underground facility. It will be marked using color standards prescribed by the 1call center. When known, the markings shall include: the size of the facility if over 2” in width; the material make-up of the facility, and the name of the facility operator. Excavators are required to take certain precautions when working in the immediate area of underground facilities. Hand digging is required within this tolerance zone by hand or other nondestructive techniques.

Even if you cause what seems to be minor damage to the pipeline, notify Hastings Utilities immediately. A gouge, scrape, dent, or crease to the pipe or its coating may cause a future leak or failure. It is imperative that we inspect and repair any damage.

In our community Hastings Utilities maintains the pipeline infrastructure that serves our more than 11,000 customers.  Main gas lines are typically 2 to 8 inches in diameter with connected service lines that can be ½ to 2 inches in diameter.  The pipes are typically made of black plastic with yellow tri-stripe markings or coated steel which helps prevent corrosion.

Leak Recognition and response

Natural gas is a colorless and odorless gas; however, a chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to help detect a possible leak.  If you smell a strong gas odor, it is recommended to leave the area immediately and call Hastings Utilities, anytime of the day or night at 402- 463-1371 or 911 from a neighboring home or business.  Never turn on or off switches or use a flashlight or phone in the presence of the gas smell, because an electric spark could ignite the gas, causing an explosion.

In the event of a gas service line or main being cut and natural gas is blowing, call 911 and Hastings Utilities (402) 463-1371 immediately. Static electricity can ignite the gas.

Hastings Utilities
Gas Department

                                                                       Nebraska Diggers 811