FAQs

General

How do I request a ticket?


You can submit a ticket by phone, by dialing 811, or online.




When can I start digging?


Once you have confirmed all the utilities at your worksite have marked, and the two business days have passed.




Can I begin digging as soon as the underground utilities are marked?


No, you have to ensure the two business days have passed, and all of the utility companies at your worksite have marked.




Can I request a ticket online?


Yes. If you are a homeowner click HERE to visit the Homeowner Portal.

If you are an excavator click HERE to visit the Excavator Portal.




What is The Portal?


The Portal is a way to submit tickets online.




What happens if I dig without requesting a ticket?


If you do not contact 811 before digging, it is quite possible that you will dig into a buried underground utility and potentially create a life-threatening situation, you can be fined, or even cause an outage to an essential utility service. Even if you have used the service before and you think you know where the underground utilities are, you need to contact 811 before every digging project to protect yourself. Remember, it is a free service!




What is a Survey/Design ticket?


A Survey/Design is processed when the customer needs to know where the underground utilities are and no excavation will be taking place, so they can design their work around where the underground utilities are buried. This ticket does not cover any excavations and does not relieve the customer from calling in before the actual excavation begins.




How much does it cost to request a ticket?


Getting the underground utilities marked is a FREE service.




When do I have to request a ticket?


Contact Texas811 at least two business days before digging. This does not include holidays, so please ensure you take that into account when scheduling your project.




Why do I need to provide my email address?


To receive a copy of your ticket, and for utility companies to contact you in case they have any questions.




Do I need to keep track of my ticket number?


Yes. Your ticket number is helpful to have if you need to update your ticket, or make any changes, and it also serves as proof that you called Texas811.




How can I get a copy of my ticket?


You can go to our online Portal, enter your ticket number, and print a copy.




What do I do if don’t have my ticket number?


If you do not have your ticket number. You can contact us by dialing 811, and we can search for tickets that were processed no longer than seven days ago.




How can I find a ticket processed more than seven days ago?


You can contact us by dialing 811, but there will be a fee for any tickets processed more than seven days ago.




Is there a cost to get a copy of my ticket?


If you have your ticket number you can print a free copy on our online Portal. If you don’t have your ticket number, you can contact us by dialing 811, but there will be a fee for any tickets processed more than seven days ago.




How long does it take to get my underground utilities marked?


Utility companies have two business days to mark, but this does not include holidays. Depending on the utility companies’ workload they may call to arrange a later date, if possible.




Who marks the underground utilities?


Each utility company notified on a ticket sends their own locators (in-house/third party) to mark their underground utilities in the area where digging will take place.




Is there a pre-excavation checklist?


Yes. Click HERE to view it.




How do I show where the proposed worksite is?


Outline the area you will be working on in white paint, or white flags.




Do I have to show where the proposed worksite is?


It is helpful to the utility companies, especially if the worksite is big, and digging will only be taking place in a small portion of the location. Marking your work area in white helps when the work location cannot be accurately described on a ticket.




How do I know if all of the utilities on my ticket have responded?


You may see paint/flags, but you should check the utilities notified on the ticket, and ensure all utilities marked or provided a Positive Response.




What do the color of the markings mean?


Click HERE to see the color code.




What is Positive Response?


Positive Response is how member utility companies communicate with excavators about the status of the ticket. It lets the excavator know if an underground utility is marked, unmarked, not in conflict (clear, or high priority). A Positive Response may include one or more of the following: markings or documentation left at the job site, callback, fax, or an automated response system. A positive response allows the excavator to know whether all facility owners/operators have marked the requested area prior to the beginning of the excavation.




I’ve confirmed Positive Responses and all indicate the worksite is marked, but when I get to the site there are no marks.  What should I do?


-Confirm the information on the ticket is correct, and that the utility companies were not given a different location.

-Confirm if any of the responses were clear. This means the utility company did not have direct conflict with your worksite, and did not need to put physical markings on the ground.




Can I use the pipeline markers to determine where the underground utilities are?


No, pipeline markers indicate the general location of pipelines, not their exact location.

Pipeline markers can be used in addition to the markings to ensure safe digging, but they should not be used as indication of an underground utility location on their own.




What if my underground utilities aren’t marked after two working days?


Check The Portal for Positive Response (you will need your ticket number). If there is no Positive Response, contact Texas811 to process a No Response to notify utility companies to locate their underground utilities ASAP.




What does it mean when a utility member says my worksite is clear, and there are no markings on the ground?


This means the utility company does not have any underground utilities in the area where you plan to dig that are in direct conflict with your digging.




I don’t think the marks for underground utilities at my worksite are correct.  What should I do?


Contact Texas811, by dialing 811, and we will review the information on the ticket to ensure everything is correct (you will need your ticket number). If necessary, we can process a Recall ticket to notify utility companies to go out and mark the correct area.




There are markings on my property, but I did not call to have my underground utilities marked. Why are they there?


Sometimes there may be contractors doing work around your property that may have called in a ticket. Contact Texas811 by dialing 811 (you will need your ticket number), and we can look into this for you. Please click HERE to see what the color of the markings means.




What should I do if one or more utilities hasn’t responded to my ticket?


Check The Portal (you will need your ticket number) for Positive Response. If there is no Positive Response, contact Texas811, by dialing 811, to process a No Response to notify utility companies to locate their underground utilities ASAP. Some underground utilities may not be marked because they are private.




What are private utilities?


Private utilities are lines not owned by utility companies. They are usually between the meter and the building. If you have a curbside meter your property may not get marked by utility companies. Other underground utilities that generally are not marked in include, but may not be limited to: sewer lines, private lighting, sprinklers, fire mains, secondary electric lines to detached garages, pools, and septic lines.




Who marks private utilities, and is there a cost?


There are fees for private locates. The underground utilities are owned by you, and it’s the owner’s responsibility to cover the cost to protect private underground utilities. Most plumbing companies locate private utilities upon request as well. You can also Google search private locating companies near you.




How deep are the underground utilities?


This varies. Erosion, digging projects, or uneven surfaces can alter the depth or location of underground utilities. This is why you should request a ticket no matter how deep you think the utilities may be.




What is a facility owner or member?


A utility operator/municipality who uses the 811 system to protect their underground facilities when someone is digging near their lines.




What state holidays are observed?





What is the difference between updating my ticket vs refreshing the utility markings?


o Update tickets are requested for two reasons: To extend the life of the ticket to stay in compliance withTexas Administrative Code Chapter 18, which regulates Oil & Gas members or the locators’ marks are no longer visible and need to be remarked.

o Both tickets go out as an Update ticket type, however, the remarks of the tickets are slightly different.

o When a request is made for the lines to be remarked, we save the ticket with the following verbiage:Update & Remark – (previous ticket number).

o When a request is made only extend the life of a ticket without having the lines remarks, we save the ticket with the following verbiage: Update – (previous ticket number).




How do I update my ticket without getting the lines remarked?


You can update a ticket by phone, by dialing 811, or online by logging into The Portal (you will need your ticket number) and processing an update ticket.




How do I refresh the utility markings when the markings are no longer visible or faded?


You can request to refresh your utility markings by phone, by dialing 811, or online by logging into The Portal (you will need your ticket number) and processing an Update and Remark ticket. **Please note the ticket type will be update, but the verbiage in the remarks will reflect update & remark. Ultimately, you are responsible for knowing the condition of the worksite and when the marks have been wiped out or moved and need to be refreshed.




I forgot to submit my ticket and I’m supposed to start my work tomorrow. What should I do?


An emergency has to pose a threat to life, health, or property, but you can process a Non-Compliant ticket. Although, it is recommended to process a Normal ticket to ensure all utility companies are given time to mark to guarantee the safest digging environment possible.




What is an Emergency ticket?


An Emergency ticket is processed when there is a request that involves a danger to life, health and/or property. To be an Emergency, the work must be taking place the same day. For example, an Emergency can’t be called in if the work is taking place the next day at 8am.




I’ve discovered exposed utilities, what should I do?


Contact Texas811 by dialing 811 to report it, and we will process a DigUp ticket.




What is a DigUp ticket?


A DigUp ticket is processed when a utility is hit, nicked, cut, or exposed.




What is a Tolerance Zone/Margin?


A Tolerance Zone/Margin refers to the amount of space parallel and adjacent to the underground utility.

In the state of Texas, the Tolerance Zone/Margin is half the diameter of the underground pipeline plus a minimum of 18 inches on either side of the outside edge of the underground pipeline on a horizontal plane.




Where can I go to find out more about the law?


Click HERE for any questions about the law.




Where can I get promotional materials?


Click HERE to order Texas811 promotional materials.





Safe Digging

I’m not digging very deep; do I still need to contact Texas811?


Yes, the depth of pipelines and other utilities can change due to erosion, digging projects or uneven surfaces. We’d rather you be safe than sorry.




Do I have to contact Texas811 if I am digging by hand?


Yes. You should always contact Texas811, no matter how large or small your project or how deep you are digging. Whether you're planning a backyard project or a professional excavation— contacting Tedxas811 is always the safest option.




Why do I have to dig with hand tools around a marked utility?


It is your responsibility to avoid damaging marked underground utilities and no specific tolerance zone/margin is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18 inches on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that digging with hand tools or another acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.




What is a Tolerance Zone/Margin?


A Tolerance Zone/Margin refers to the amount of space parallel and adjacent to the underground utility.

In the state of Texas, the Tolerance Zone/Margin is half the diameter of the underground pipeline plus a minimum of 18 inches on either side of the outside edge of the underground pipeline on a horizontal plane.




When can I start digging?


Once you have confirmed all the utilities at your worksite have marked, and the two business days have passed.




Can I begin digging as soon as the underground utilities are marked?


No. You have to ensure the two business days have passed, and all of the utilities at your worksite have marked.




Can I use the pipeline markers to determine where the underground utilities are?


No. Pipeline markers indicate the general location of pipelines, not their exact location.

Pipeline markers can be used in addition to the markings to ensure safe digging, but they should not be used as indication of an underground utility location on their own.




How close can I dig to the marked underground utilities?


It is your responsibility to avoid damaging marked underground utilities and no specific tolerance zone/margin is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18 inches on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that digging with hand tools or another acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.




What happens if I hit, cut, nick, or expose an underground utility?


Stop digging and notify Texas811 immediately to process a DigUp ticket. If it is a gas pipeline, call 911.




Do I have to notify Texas811 when I’m digging in a spot that was previously marked?


Yes. Erosion, digging projects or uneven surfaces can alter the depth or location of underground utilities, or your utility companies may have completed work on their utilities since the last time you dug – so you must contact Texas811 before you dig, each and every time.





DIYer

If I’m hiring a contractor, do I have to request a ticket?


If you are hiring a contractor to do the work for you, it is the contractor’s responsibility to contact Texas811 two business days prior to digging. You may want to make sure your contractor has notified Texas811 before the work begins by requesting the ticket number.




There are markings on my property, but I did not call to have my underground utilities marked. Why are they there?


Sometimes there may be contractors doing work around your property who may have called in a ticket. Contact Texas811, and we can look into this for you (you will need your ticket number). Please click HERE to see what the color of the markings means.




How do I know which utilities are notified on my ticket?


The utilities notified will be listed on your ticket.




Which underground utilities will be marked?


Any underground utilities owned by public utility companies, that are notified on your ticket, will be marked. If you know of any utilities that are not on your ticket you must notify those utilities directly. Public utility companies may not mark utilities that run from the meter onto private property or to the house. It is the owner of the private utilities, the excavator’s (property owner’s) responsibility to get the utilities marked before digging.




Who is responsible to clean up and remove the markings after a job is complete?


It is recommended that the excavator or person/company requesting the marks removes the markings when the work is complete.




There are underground utilities in my yard, but they were not marked.  What should I do next?


If you feel like this is a public owned utility you may have to call in a Texas811 No Response ticket, but usually the primary reason may be that some public utility companies may not mark utilities that run from the meter onto private property or to the house. It is the owner of the private utilities or the excavator’s (property owner’s) responsibility to get the utilities marked before digging.




Do I have to be home when the utility companies come out to mark my underground utilities?


No. You do not have to be home, but please be sure all pets are put away, and ensure the utility companies have access to the property to mark the area where digging will take place. It also helps to mark the proposed worksite in white.




Do I have to remove my pets from the backyard when the utility companies come out to mark my underground utilities?


Yes. Remove and/or safely contain dogs and other pets. Even if a pet looks friendly, locators may not enter the yard.




What is The Portal?


The Portal is a way to submit locates online.




How can I sign up for The Portal?


Click HERE to sign up for The Portal.





Professional Excavator

I’m a subcontractor on the job, do I need my own ticket?


Yes. You need your own ticket. There is no such thing as a blanket ticket provided to a general contractor. The ticket processed by the general contractor does not cover subcontractors. If you are a subcontractor and you are excavating, protect yourself and your company by contacting Texas811, by phone by dialing 811, or on The Portal to get a ticket. The general contractor's ticket does not apply to anyone except them.




Do I have to show where the proposed worksite is?


It is helpful to the locators, especially if the worksite is large, and digging will only take place in a small portion of the location. Marking the proposed worksite in white helps when the work location cannot be accurately described on a ticket.




Do I have to be on-site when the utility companies mark the underground utilities?


No. You do not need to be on-site, as long as the utility companies have access to the property.




I don’t think the utility markings at my worksite are correct.  What should I do?


Contact Texas811 and we will review the information on the ticket to ensure everything is correct. If necessary, we can process a Recall ticket to notify utility companies to go out and mark the correct area.




I’ve confirmed Positive Responses and all indicate the worksite is marked, but when I get to the worksite there are no marks.  What should I do?


-Confirm the information on the ticket is correct, and that the utility companies were not given a different location.

-Confirm if any of the responses are clear. This means the utility company did not have direct conflict with your worksite, and did not need to put physical markings on the ground.




I forgot to submit my locate request and I’m supposed to start my work tomorrow. What should I do?


An emergency has to pose a threat to life, health, or property, but you can process a Non-Compliant locate request. Although, it is recommended to process a Normal ticket to ensure all utilities are given time to locate to guarantee the safest digging environment possible.




Why do I have to dig with hand tools around a marked utility?


It is your responsibility to avoid damaging marked underground utilities and no specific tolerance zone/margin is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18 inches on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that digging with hand tools or another acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.




How close can I dig to the marked underground utilities?


It is your responsibility to avoid damaging marked underground utilities and no specific tolerance zone/margin is specified in the Texas One-Call law. However, APWA and several industries accepted Best Practices set 18 inches on either side of the marked utility as a reasonable tolerance zone. Within that zone it is recommended that digging with hand tools or another acceptable method be used to locate the exact location of the utility before more extensive excavation is started.




What is a Tolerance Zone/Margin?


A Tolerance Zone/Margin refers to the amount of space parallel and directly adjacent to the underground utility.

In the state of Texas, the Tolerance Zone/Margin is half the diameter of the underground pipeline plus a minimum of 18 inches on either side of the outside edge of the underground pipeline on a horizontal plane.




What are the excavator's responsibilities?


Click HERE to view a list of the excavator’s responsibilities.




What is The Portal?


The Portal is a way to submit locates online.




How can I sign up for The Portal?


You can sign up for The Portal HERE.




I can’t log into my Portal account. What do I do?


Email Training@Texas811.org




How can I make a change to my Portal account?


Login to your Portal account. Click Enter Tickets, and click Update Information to the left of the screen.





Member

What is a Texas811 member?


A Texas811 member is a utility operator or municipality who chooses Texas811 to protect their underground facilities when someone is digging near their lines.




Who can be a member of Texas 811?


All utility operators and municipalities in Texas are eligible for membership with Texas811.




What comes with Texas811 membership?


For information about what comes with Texas811 membership please contact Member Services by:

-Calling 888-771-1877 option 2


-Email MemberServices@Texas811.org




How do I become a member of Texas811?


Click HERE to fill out an application for general membership.

You can also contact a Member Service Manager by:

-Calling 888-771-1877 option 2


-Email at MemberServices@Texas811.org




What do I need to do if I want my tickets routed to a different location?


Click HERE to fill out a Member Receiving Site Update Form.




How do I update my facility mapping?


-To update current code, click HERE to fill out a Database Submission/Change Request Form.

-To add as new code, click HERE to fill out an Add New Code Form.




I recently sold some assets and I no longer need tickets for that particular area. What should I do?


Click HERE to fill out a Database Submission/Change Request Form.




I recently purchased assets, how do I start getting tickets for that particular area?


-To update current code, click HERE to fill out a Database Submission/Change Request Form.

-To add as new code, click HERE to fill out an Add New Code Form.




Can I create more than one code to identify various assets of mine?


Yes. Click HERE to fill out an Add New Code Form.




How can I update my contact/billing information?


Click HERE to fill out the Member Information Sheets.




I have a question about a ticket I did/did not receive. What should I do?


Click HERE to fill out a Locate Request Concerns Form.




How do I sign up for The Portal?


Click HERE to sign up for The Portal.




How can I make a change to my Portal account?


Login to your Portal account. Click Enter Tickets, and click Update Information to the left of the screen.




How can I search for tickets within The Portal when I do not have a ticket number?


Login to your Portal account. Click on Find Tickets at the top left of yours screen. You can search tickets by date or date range, ticket number, or code.




How can I pay my bill?


Click HERE to pay your bill.




How can I send a response back to a ticket I received?


Click HERE to fill out a Positive Response Configuration Form.




What is Customized Solutions, and what services do they offer?


Please visit the Customized Solutions webpage by clicking HERE for more information.




How do I sign up for Customized Solutions services?


Email Solutions@Texas811.org





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Hand Tools

can damage gas lines.

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