Digging In Texas

When anyone digs in Texas, whether planting a tree or digging the foundation of a skyscraper, there is a high probability of an underground utility line being within the dig site.

Your Safety is a Shared Responsibility


Hitting an underground utility line does more than interrupt utility service; it risks the safety of the person digging and the public.  So whose responsibility is it to prevent a shovel or a backhoe from nicking a gas pipeline or severing an electric line?


It is everyone’s job because your safety is a shared responsibility.  And it takes everyone to ensure our safety.

  • The person digging (excavator) is responsible for contacting 811 at least two working days, excluding weekends and state holidays, before digging.

  • This triggers a notice to utilities with underground facilities near your dig site that you plan to dig and they need to mark their lines.

  • The utilities send a locator (sometimes an employee, other times a contract locator) to mark with paint and/or flags where their underground lines are located.

  • The excavator must honor the marks; this means any digging within 18” of either side of the marks must be approached with extreme caution.  A commercial excavator should use hand tools, a homeowner should be careful until the underground lines are exposed and you can see them.


When these steps are followed, there is less than a 1% chance that underground utility lines will be hit.  When everyone does their part, the lights stay on and we’re all safer.

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Hand Tools

can damage gas lines.

More than 80% of "no call" damages involving hand tools damaged gas facilities.

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