Texans Need to Call 811 Before Digging Projects

April 08, 2021

AUSTIN – As Texans take advantage of the spring weather and break ground on outdoor projects, they are reminded that they must call 811 before digging.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently declared April as Safe Digging Month for the state to help bring awareness of the potential for injuries, property damage and outages if underground utilities are damaged.

Homeowners, excavators and contractors must call 811 before digging any time of the year. An 811 call will prompt utility operators to come and mark where underground cables and utilities, such as pipelines, are located. This takes the guesswork out of digging and helps protect against bad accidents.   

Texas has more miles of pipeline than any other state. In reports submitted to the RRC in 2020, 27 percent of pipeline damage was caused by people digging with hand tools, such as shovels.

If a pipeline is damaged during excavation, state law requires the responsible party to call 811 to report the damage and 911 if there is a release of product.

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 the state One-Call Center, which 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.

Location requests can also be filed online at the Texas 811 website at https://www.texas811.org/.


About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.