Beneath our soils, connecting hospitals, schools, homes and businesses, are 14,664km of gas pipelines.

In 2022, there were over 400 instances of third-party damage to the Gas Networks Ireland gas distribution network. This includes damage to gas mains and services, mostly caused by mechanical excavators.

There were also 34 instances of unauthorised excavation near the high-pressure gas transmission network in the Republic of Ireland in 2022.

As gas is highly flammable and transported at pressure, damaging these pipelines can result in major disruption, property damage, serious injury or even death.

To avoid any damage, and the possible consequences it could entail, you should always contact Gas Networks Ireland to ensure it is safe to dig where you had planned.

How to check for underground gas pipes

Gas Networks Ireland runs a ‘Dial Before You Dig’ (DBYD) service, which makes it easy for people to check whether there are underground gas pipelines on a site before digging.

It provides information, advice and maps on the pipeline network by phone, email, or online.

The online service, which was launched towards the end of 2019, had over 5,500 registered users at the end of 2022 and dealt with over 17,000 network enquiries. Over 1,000 calls were made to the DBYD phone line and nearly 5,000 emails were responded to in 2022.

Gas Networks Ireland, through the DBYD service, can provide maps of the gas networks.

If there is a high-pressure transmission pipeline near where you plan to work, you must contact Gas Networks Ireland so its team can advise on safety requirements.

Gas Networks Ireland sees a high number of incidents of unauthorised drainage works being carried out in proximity to gas transmission pipelines with many of these occurring after prolonged periods of wet weather.

If necessary, Gas Networks Ireland will mark out the location of the pipeline and for certain locations provide an inspector to oversee the work. This service is free and is designed to ensure your safety and that of those around you.

Gas Networks Ireland also offers downloadable documents on safety advice for working in the vicinity of natural gas pipes and safety steps for landowners.

For more information on the dial before you dig service, click here. And remember; dial before you dig yourself into a hole – it could prevent accidents, delays, or much worse.