OKLAHOMA CITY (April 3, 2023) – April is National Safe Digging Month, and Oklahoma Natural Gas is celebrating by giving away 50 trees from the Arbor Day Foundation. 

Until April 16, Oklahomans can take the Safe Digging Pledge at BeADigHeroOklahoma.com to share their commitment to always contact 811 before they dig. Doing so enters Oklahomans for a chance to win a free tree. Winners will be formally announced on Arbor Day, April 28. There is no cost to participate, and winners will be selected randomly.

“Due to ice storms and other recent extreme weather, many people in our community have lost trees,” said Chad Previch, public relations manager for Oklahoma Natural Gas. “We're thrilled to offer a complimentary tree for our giveaway winners. As we head into the peak landscaping and gardening season, we urge residents to contact OKIE811 before they begin any digging project – small or large.”

When someone digs in Oklahoma, whether planting a tree or repairing their sprinkler system, there is a high probability of underground facilities below the site, such as natural gas, electric or water lines. When customers make the free call to 811 or visit OKIE811.org before digging, professional locators will mark the underground facilities within the designated project area with flags and/or paint at no cost to the home or business owner.

“People often forget to contact 811 before starting outdoor projects like repairing fences, removing trees or planting gardens, which can cause severe disruptions and inconvenience to the community,” said Trey Pool, manager of public awareness and damage prevention for ONE Gas, the parent company of Oklahoma Natural Gas. “By increasing awareness and emphasizing the importance of contacting 811 before any digging activities, we aim to promote a culture of safety.”

When to Contact 811

Individuals should contact 811 at least 48 hours, excluding the date of notification, weekends and holidays, before starting all digging projects – no matter how small – to protect underground facilities and decrease the chances of hitting a line.

3 Tips to Remember Before Digging

  1. Even if your digging project is shallow, you need to contact 811 to have your facilities marked.
  2. If you hire a contractor, make sure they contact 811 before digging.
  3. Respect the Tolerance Zone, which is 2 feet on either side of the underground facility. Within this zone, you should exercise reasonable care using hand or soft digging techniques to avoid any contact or damage to the facility. Soft digging includes any excavation with tools and equipment that use air or water pressure to break up soil and rock.

Learn more about safe digging and take the pledge at BeADigHeroOklahoma.com for your chance to win a free tree.

About Oklahoma Natural Gas

Oklahoma Natural Gas provides a reliable and affordable energy choice to more than 913,000 customers in Oklahoma and is the largest natural gas distributor in the state, in terms of customers.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Natural Gas is a division of ONE Gas, Inc. (NYSE: OGS), a 100-percent regulated natural gas utility that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "OGS." ONE Gas is included in the S&P MidCap 400 Index and is one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States.

For more information and the latest news about Oklahoma Natural Gas, visit oklahomanaturalgas.com and follow its social channels: @OklahomaNatural, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.