SPRINGFIELD — This month, Columbia Gas of Ohio encourages Ohioans to take safe digging on the go with the O.U.P.S. app.
Columbia Gas has partnered with the Ohio Utilities Protection Service (O.U.P.S.) to create an app that offers several features to ensure safe digging and prevent injuries resulting from damage to underground utility lines.
The app should be especially helpful in the month of August, historically the time of year when the most damages to natural gas pipelines occur.
Established in 1972, O.U.P.S. is a nonprofit organization that serves as a communication link between utility companies and individuals planning any digging. O.U.P.S. receives more than 1 million digging and excavation notices each year.
The O.U.P.S. app allows viewers to conduct a real-time safety check with the Near Ticket function to see if and where O.U.P.S. has been called to mark utility lines near the user.
Users can also view upcoming events, how O.U.P.S. works, the law, legislative updates, marking requirements, contract locator lists, training and safe digging videos and commercials, FAQs, and information on damage prevention councils and public outreach teams.
Contactors, excavators and O.U.P.S. members will find a number of useful functions in the app, including: the Use Positive Response feature to check who has marked their lines; the Edig feature to enter single address locates and the Idig feature to enter tickets using the new HTML 5 iDig.
The O.U.P.S. app is free and available for both iPhone and Android mobile devices.
Columbia Gas reminds property owners to call 811 to have underground utility lines marked before they dig. Notification should be made at least 48 hours, but not more than 10 days, prior to the start of excavation.
About Columbia Gas of Ohio — Columbia Gas of Ohio delivers clean, efficient natural gas to approximately 1.4 million customers in 61 of Ohio’s 88 counties. With headquarters in Columbus, it is one of the seven energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. and is the largest natural gas utility in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve approximately 3.8 million gas and electric customers primarily in seven states. More information about Columbia Gas of Ohio is available at: ColumbiaGasOhio.com. Be sure to call 811 at least two business days before you dig. For information about natural gas safety and what to do if you suspect a gas leak, go to: safegasohio.org.