Texas Insider Report: AUSTIN, Texas – As Texans begin to recover from damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, it is an important time to remind the public they must call 811 before digging and follow safe practices to help prevent injuries, property damage and inconvenient outages. The 811 call to one-call notification centers prompts pipeline operators to mark their underground pipelines in a requested area, making building projects safe.
The top cause of pipeline accidents in Texas is failure to call 811 so underground utilities can be marked before digging or excavating. Nearly 25 percent of pipeline damage is caused by people digging with hand tools, such as shovels.
“Don’t gamble with your safety; call 811 so you don’t have to call 911,” said Jamie Renard, Pipeline Damage Prevention Manager. “The depth of pipelines can vary due to a number of factors, including possible erosion caused by Harvey. The vast majority of these incidents are minor and do not cause injuries, but we want to keep families and neighborhoods safe as Texas begins to rebuild.”
With almost 440,000 miles of active pipelines to support the state’s energy needs, Texas has more miles of pipeline than any other state. It is critical that all Texans are aware of this vital underground infrastructure and the importance of calling 811 before digging to reduce the risk of striking a pipeline.
The call to 811 is free and must be made at least two business days before digging. Homeowners, excavators and contractors who call 811 are connected to one of the two state One-Call Centers operating in Texas. The One-Call Center then notifies underground facility operators, including pipelines. Locator personnel are dispatched to the digging site to mark the locations of underground pipelines and utilities with flags, spray paint or both.
More information can be found on the Commission’s website at this link.