What to do if you suspect a gas leak
Natural gas is colorless and odorless. A chemical that smells like rotten eggs is added to make it easier to detect a gas leak before it creates a hazardous situation.
If you suspect a gas leak in your area, please follow these safety guidelines.
- Leave the area immediately.
- Do not turn any electrical switches on or off.
- Do not use your cell phone or a landline. Wait until you have left the area to call for help.
- If you are currently on a landline, set the receiver down but do not hang up.
- Do not start your car engine.
- When you are a safe distance from the gas smell, call 911 to report the smell of gas. Then report the leak to South Dakota 811 and the gas company.
- Remain a safe distance from the suspected leak until someone from the gas company or an emergency responder says it is safe to return.
How to recognize a gas pipeline leak. Natural gas smells like rotten eggs, but not all gas has a smell. It is important to pay attention to other signs around a gas pipeline that could indicate a leak.
- Hissing, roaring, or bubbling sounds
- Pools of liquid
- White clouds or fog
- Discolored or dead areas of vegetation
Who needs to contact South Dakota 811?
Anyone digging in the state of South Dakota is required to contact South Dakota 811 at least two-business days before digging excluding weekends and holidays.
- If you’re doing the work yourself, please request a locate ticket.
- If you’re hiring someone to do the work for you, they must contact South Dakota 811.
There are two exceptions when contacting 811 is not required.
- Gardening at a depth less than 12”.
- Tilling a field at a depth less than 18”.
For insurance and liability purposes, it is imperative that the person(s) actually doing the digging contact South Dakota 811 to request a locate ticket.
How much does a ticket cost?
South Dakota 811 tickets are free. The 811 system is supported by utility companies in South Dakota as a way to prevent damage to their underground lines.
What to do before you request a ticket
You can reach South Dakota 811 24/7/365 to request a locate notification by dialing 811 or going to www.sdonecall.com.
There are a preset list of questions that are necessary for a utility company to accurately locate and mark the underground utilities at your worksite. Those questions are in the Information required for requesting a ticket section HERE.
Determine the exact location of the area you’ll be working in. Do not request that an entire property be located if you are only working on a portion of the property.
If possible, mark the boundaries of your work area with white paint or white flags to ensure locators mark the entire area you plan to dig.
Required Ticket Information
Your name, address, phone number and email address
- Name of your company if you’re a professional excavator
Best person (other than you) to contact if additional information is required
- If you’re a professional excavator, please provide contact information for someone who will be a the worksite
Who is the work being done for (you or someone else)?
About the Work:
- What kind of work is being done?
- What is the location of the worksite? Provide an address including county or driving directions from a known intersection if worksite doesn’t have an address.
- Date when you expect to begin work.
- How long will it take to complete the work?
- How deep will you be digging?
- Will you be using explosives?
- Will you be working in the Right of Way?
- Will you be tunneling or boring?
- Is the work within city limits?
- Remarks/Digging Instructions: Describe specifically where on the property the work will take place (i.e., front, rear, side, the entire property), GPS coordinates, whether the work area is marked by white paint or stakes, any additional information that may be helpful for the utility locators)
- Desired information, but only required on some rural worksites: GPS coordinates, TRSQ (Township, Range, Section, Quarter)
Need a copy of your ticket?
If you have the ticket number you can log into the Portal or the Homeowner Portal and print a copy of the ticket.
If you do not have the ticket number, click HERE to complete the Ticket Search form.
What Happens After You Contact South Dakota 811
South Dakota 811 notifies operators of facilities whose buried lines are within the area you intend to dig. The facility operators will mark the location of their buried lines using paint or flags. South Dakota 811 is not responsible for marking buried lines.
If a facility operator marks a location with “clear” or “NO” it means that they do not have an underground service within the area you intend to dig.
Paint on the ground or colored flags indicate the location of underground utilities. Each utility uses a different color of paint to flags so the lines can be identified. Click HERE to see what each color represents.
If all of the facility operators listed on your ticket have not responded in two-business days and you have reached the start date and time on your locate ticket, you should
- Confirm which companies have not used paint or flags to identify their lines in your work area.
- Check the South Dakota 811 website to see if they have provided a digital response.
- Contact South Dakota 811 to process a Verification – No Response ticket. You’ll need both your ticket number and the names of the utilities that have not responded. The center will notify the facility operators involved to locate your lines as soon as possible.
Any person owning or operating underground facilities, including propane, water, communications, electrical, drain tiles, a farm tap distribution system, or any other buried facility which serves third parties or which crosses a property line or is located in a public highway shall register with the one call notification system as an operators pursuant to Chapter 48-7A-1.
Positive Response for Excavators and Homeowners
Positive Response is a tool to communicate the status of locators’ responses to a locate request.
- Facility Operators attach a digital message to the locate ticket in the South Dakota database reporting the status of their locate markings
- It helps excavators understand when locate markings are completed or provides a notice that a utility has no underground facilities in the vicinity of the work site.
- Viewable through the South Dakota Portal. A free Portal account in needed to view responses to a ticket.
To Sign-Up for the Portal
- Click HERE and select Sign Up in the upper right-hand corner
- Fill in the requested information on the form
View this short training video about South Dakota Positive Response
For additional information contact Training@sd811.com or (888) 776-6077.