LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (August 10, 2022) – At Summit Utilities, the safety of our customers and the communities we serve is our number one priority. In observance of 811 Day, celebrated on August 11 each year, Summit is reminding community members and professional contractors to avoid accidents and utility interruptions by following the law and always calling 811 to have underground utility lines marked before beginning any outdoor projects.
“This is a fun time of year when people enjoy tackling those outdoor DIY projects,” said Cynthia Westcott, Vice President of Operations at Summit. “Because Summit is committed to never compromising the safety of our customers, we’re reminding residents that they must call 811 before they dig. This free and simple precaution will help homeowners prevent service disruptions, serious injuries, and expensive repairs.”
The Common Ground Alliance, a national nonprofit organization working to protect underground utility lines, says damage to underground utilities happens once every few minutes due to failure to call 811. While large excavation projects often cause these mistakes, a homeowner’s simple mailbox installation or even a modest gardening project can lead to striking infrastructure that is right underground.
As part of National 811 Safe Digging Day, and every day, Summit encourages everyone to take the following steps when planning any digging project:
In the event a gas line is struck or ruptured outside of a home or business: Step 1: Leave immediately on foot! Do not use electric switches, telephones (including cell phones), start or drive a car or anything that could cause a spark. Move in an upwind direction away from the leak or vapor cloud where you can no longer smell gas and maintain a safe distance. Step 2: Go directly to a safe location and call 911. Step 3: Warn others to stay away from the leak. Abandon any equipment being used in or near the area.
Summit Utilities, Inc. closed on its acquisition of CenterPoint Energy’s natural gas distribution assets in Arkansas, Oklahoma and the Texarkana, Texas area on January 10, 2022. The gas distribution systems included in the transaction serve approximately 525,000 customers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and include 17,000 miles of gas main pipeline throughout those three states. As part of the acquisition, Summit has welcomed nearly 600 CenterPoint team members to the company. Throughout 2022, Summit and CenterPoint will work together to migrate all operations and services to Summit. During that transition period, CenterPoint will continue to provide certain services to customers on behalf of Summit including aspects of billing, customer support and marketing.
Summit Utilities, Inc. owns natural gas distribution and transmission subsidiaries that operate in Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. The company provides safe, clean and affordable natural gas to businesses and residents in six states through Arkansas Oklahoma Gas, Colorado Natural Gas, Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Summit Natural Gas of Missouri, Summit Utilities Arkansas, and Summit Utilities Oklahoma. Each of Summit’s natural gas distribution and transmission subsidiaries constructs and installs natural gas distribution systems with the goal of supporting economic development by providing clean-burning, safe and reliable natural gas to residential and commercial customers through exceptional customer service and commitment to community. Overall, Summit entities serve approximately 625,000 customers and operate more than 23,400 miles of pipeline.