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Smell Gas? (215) 235-1212


Always call 811 before digging to avoid potential injuries and
service disruptions caused by damaging buried utilities


PHILADELPHIA (April 13, 2021) –Throughout April, Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) will recognize National Safe Digging Month by reminding contractors and residents to call 811, or visit, before starting a project that requires underground excavation (digging) or any building demolition work no matter the size of the project. In Pennsylvania, residents and contractors are legally required to call the Pennsylvania One Call System 3 to 10 business days prior to beginning a project in order to report where underground excavation is planned.


Calling 811, Pennsylvania’s “One Call” system, will alert PGW along with other utilities to identify and mark their service or distribution lines near the proposed worksite to prevent injuries, property damage, and inconvenient and costly utility outages. This service is free to any homeowner working on their residential property.

Safe digging is a shared responsibility among excavators, homeowners, and facility owners. The Common Ground Alliance (CGA), a member-driven association committed to raising the public’s awareness of underground safety, conducted a recent survey where approximately four in ten homeowners stated that they plan to dig on their property this year for an outdoor home or property improvement project. Of those homeowners who plan to dig, 45 percent did not plan to call 811 before they dig. Two-thirds of homeowners surveyed believe they would not hit an unmarked underground utility line or cause a service outage if they dug without calling 811.

In 2019, the costs of damages to buried utilities in the U.S. was estimated at $30 billion.

PGW also encourages City residents to call 811 to report any suspect contractor that may be digging without a valid Pennsylvania One Call ticket in place, which alerts all facility owners of a possible safety concern. Job sites that do not have visible paint or flag markings onsite should be reported to 811. Natural gas lines are identified and marked by yellow paint or flags. Yellow is specific to natural gas, steam, and petroleum pipelines.


For more information about safe digging practices, please visit,



About PGW:

Founded in 1836, The Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) is owned by the City of Philadelphia and is the largest municipally owned gas utility in the country. It manages a distribution system of approximately 6,000 miles of gas mains and service pipes supplying approximately 500,000 customers. PGW's operations are managed by a non-profit corporation, the Philadelphia Facilities Management Corporation (PFMC). More information about the company is available at


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Smell Gas? Call (215) 235-1212

Natural Gas smells bad on purpose

That “rotten egg” smell is the smell of natural gas. If you think you smell gas leave the area immediately, and then call PGW at 215-235-1212 from a safe location.

Learn more Leaks, Odors, Safety Tips

Also if you smell gas:

  • Do not use electrical devices including cell phones which may cause a spark and ignite the gas.
  • Do not use an open flame, matches or lighters.
  • Do not try to locate the source of the gas leak.
  • Do not try to shut off any natural gas valves or gas appliances.
  • Do not start vehicles.
  • Do not re-enter the building or return to the area until a PGW employee or a qualified utility representative says it is safe to do so.
  • Do not put out the flames if natural gas ignites.