Letter to Contractors & Excavators

To: Contractors and Excavators operating in Hastings Utilities Gas Dept. 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.

Demand for natural gas in the United States continues to grow. Residential consumers as well as commercial, industrial and electric generation customers know that it’s safe, reliable and efficient. Today nearly three out of five U.S. homes are heated with natural gas. Domestically produced natural gas is transported to 160 million customers through a 1.6 million mile pipeline system.

Over the last 20 years, the Federal Office of Pipeline Safety recorded cases of third party excavation damage to distribution lines nationwide that resulted in more than $20 million dollars worth of property damage, not including the injuries and fatalities. This is why we are working to educate our customers, residents and contractors about the importance of complying with the national "Call Before You Dig" requirements. When citizens or contractors consider digging or moving earth they must simply call "Diggers Hotline of Nebraska" at 1-800-331-5666 or 811. Whether you’re installing an underground dog fence, running electricity to an out building or post-hole digging for a new mail box post, underground piping and other utilities can be damaged. Calling before you dig can prevent a costly or even deadly mistake.

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.

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 plastic gas service line or main being cut and natural gas is blowing, static electricity can ignite the gas.

Natural gas is one of America’s clean burning, reliable, and efficient fuels. Keeping these simple tips in mind can help you and your families enjoy the comfort and safety of natural gas too.

Hastings Utilities
Gas Department                            
                                                                       Nebraska Diggers 811