News in Brief: Gardeners Warned About Hazards

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With the beginning of the fall planting season, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and UC Botanical Garden held a joint press conference warning gardeners of the potentially fatal hazard of striking buried gas and electric lines.

"A seemingly innocent task such as digging a hole with a shovel to plant a tree can prove deadly if a buried gas line is struck," said PG&E spokespeople in a statement. "PG&E sees an increase in gas line 'dig-ins' around major planting seasons-largely because gardeners don't realize gas and electric lines are buried on their property."

The press conference, held at the UC Botanical Garden, included a demonstration of a gas line being ruptured.

PG&E spokesperson Jason Alderman informed attendees of a free service, PG&E's Underground Service Alert hotline, which dispatches utility workers to residences to mark the locations of electric lines and gas pipes underground.

Horticulturist experts at the UC Botanical Garden expect many home gardeners to plant various forms of vegetation in the next few weeks before the rainy season begins, according to the statement.

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