Gas Pipeline Safety

Gas Pipeline Safety

Underground natural gas pipelines run along public and private property, serving our homes, businesses and public places. Prevent damage to underground pipelines and know what to do if damage occurs.

Call Diggers Hotline

To protect pipelines and other underground facilities from accidental damage, call Diggers Hotline at 1-800-242-85111-800-242-8511 a minimum of three business days before digging. Diggers Hotline will notify MGE and other utilities to mark their underground facilities at no charge to you.

  • You'll know where it is safe to dig.
  • You'll avoid hefty fines for causing accidental damage because of digging without calling ahead.
  • It's the law.

Accidental damage during excavation is the greatest risk to underground natural gas pipelines. Even minor damage can cause a leak or failure.

Recognizing a gas leak

If you notice any of the following, call MGE's emergency phone number: (608) 252-1111(608) 252-1111 for Madison-area calls or 1-800-245-11231-800-245-1123 for long-distance calls.

  • Distinctive, harmless chemical odor MGE adds to natural gas
  • Dead or dying vegetation for no apparent reason
  • White cloud, mist, fog, bubbles in standing water or blowing dust
  • Unusual noise such as roaring, hissing or whistling

Learn more about Natural Gas Safety.

Respect right-of-way

The area along each side of the pipeline is called the right-of-way. The owner of the underground facilities has the right to restrict certain activities (even on private property). Right-of-way locations are usually on maps filed with local municipalities. Diggers Hotline can provide these details.

Pipeline markers

Pipeline MarkerPipeline markers are sometimes used to indicate the approximate location of underground pipelines. Pipeline markers display:

  • Approximate location of pipelines.
  • Material transported in the line.
  • Name of pipeline operator.
  • Operator telephone number in case of an emergency.

Markers cannot be relied on for exactness. Because many lines are not marked, it is critical that you contact Diggers Hotline prior to any excavation.

MGE's commitment

We support safety education seminars for contractors, excavators and emergency responders.

MGE promotes public pipeline safety through:

  • Active membership in the Wisconsin Damage Prevention Council and the Wisconsin Pipeline Association.
  • Support of safety education seminars for contractors, excavators and emergency responders.
  • Membership in Wisconsin's Diggers Hotline.
  • Design and construction practices.
  • Inspections.
  • Workforce qualifications.
  • Safety practices and government oversight.
  • Pipeline markers and facility mapping.
  • Public education programs.

MGE works together and maintains a liaison with emergency responders and state and local agencies to prevent and prepare for emergencies.

As new technologies are developed in pipeline design, construction, inspections and operations, we will continue to invest in pipeline integrity programs that will allow for the safe and secure delivery of natural gas.

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