It’s an Important Time to Know Before You Dig

March 27, 2020

AUSTIN – With many areas of Texas under local stay-at-home orders because of COVID-19 concerns, homeowners may have extra time on their hands to get their back yards ready for the summer or for other landscaping projects. 

But residents shouldn’t forget an important safety reminder before digging. They need to call 811 if digging deeper than 16 inches, in order to know where underground pipelines and utility lines are located.

It’s the law. Homeowners, excavators and contractors are required to call 811 at least two days prior to digging. A caller can tell the operator the location of the dig, and affected pipeline and utility companies in the area will send locators to the dig site to mark the approximate location of buried lines with flags or paint.

The call helps prevent injuries, pipeline damage, and unnecessary gas, water, or Internet outages in neighborhoods. Homeowners could also be liable for potential fines and costly repairs for striking and breaking an underground utility line.

In the current COVID-19 situation Texas 811 continues to provide the same level of critical public safety service as before.

The call to 811 is free and invaluable to you, your family and neighbors. Homeowners can also file an online request to locate on the Texas 811 website at

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