Are you wondering what goes into a project that requires some digging? Well, there’s a lot that goes into it! But there is one key thing that must be done. Do you know what that one thing is?
Are you sure?
No, it’s not removing items from that space, securing your pets, or even making other arrangements for your kids during construction. It’s something that is of the utmost importance for a project to proceed smoothly without delays, inconveniences and costing a lot more than it should.
So what is it?
Calling Texas 811! It’s the LAW!
What Is Texas 811?
Texas 811, sometimes referred to as dig-tess, is a service that will locate and mark most of the underground utility lines on a property and around the excavation area. Calling 811 is how we get the lines marked in your yard so that we don’t hit anything important when we’re digging!
How Does Texas 811 Work?
There are several steps associated with the Texas 811 system.
1. Make the Call
We give them at least two working days before digging per their requirements.
2. Facility Operators Are Notified
Next, all affected facility operators will be notified about the excavation project. We will then be given a reference number that serves as proof of our call. Complete records must be kept to verify our compliance with the law.
3. Lines Are Located and Marked
Professional locators will then come to your property and mark the utility lines with colored flags that indicate which specific utility each flag is related to so the excavators can work safely and without delays.
What Happens If 811 Isn’t Called Before Digging?
There are plenty of things that could go wrong if we don’t follow the law and make that 811 call before we begin digging.
For example, when a line is hit any one or all of the following could happen:
- Damage vital services such as plumbing, sewer, electric, cable, gas, oil, and water lines and anything else that gets in the way. This could translate into damage to an entire area.
- The home and the entire area’s utilities could be disrupted until repairs can be scheduled and made.
- Risk putting lives in danger as would be the case if you hit a gas line or electric line.
- The law would have been broken which would lead to legal liability and/or requirement to pay for the damages, and they won’t be cheap!
What Happens If An Underground Line Is Hit While Digging?
If a utility line is damaged while digging, it is required to report the damage immediately to the Railroad Commission of Texas. A safe distance from the affected area before making the call is also recommended because if a gas line or something similar is hit, a cell phone could spark a fire or explosion.
The Bottom Line
Remember that a line can be damaged by anything, even a shovel, so it’s just not worth taking any chances. The take away from this article is to NEVER, EVER dig without calling 811 and having the utility lines marked first. If you don’t, you could end up facing legal issues and financial responsibilities that will probably range into the tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention, nothing is ever worth risking some else’s life, or yours!