Gas lines can intersect with sewer lines, creating "cross bores"

To help minimize sidewalk and landscaping damage, new service lines such as gas, electric and cable TV are usually installed by drilling holes horizontally beneath the ground. A “cross bore” is when the new pipe or cable accidentally goes through another underground pipe or cable.

Today, when PG&E installs smaller natural gas lines using underground drilling, we utilize the 811 service to help prevent digging into other lines. This free program notifies utility companies to mark the location of underground lines so digging can be done safely.

Image of a gas pipe running through a sewer pipe

Recognize signs of a natural gas leak

Please report any signs of a gas leak immediately. Your awareness and action can improve the safety of your home and community.


We add a distinctive, sulfur-like, rotten egg odor so you can detect even small amounts of natural gas. However, DO NOT rely only on your sense of smell to detect the presence of natural gas.


Pay attention to hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground or from a gas appliance.


Be aware of dirt spraying into the air, continual bubbling in a pond or creek, and dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area.