The largest cause of damage to pipelines, or other underground facilities including electric lines, telecommunication or cable wires, is excavation. In every state, any excavator, whether landscaping, building fences, or a major construction project, must make a call to a state One-Call center prior to beginning any excavation activities.
If you are planning to excavate, call your local One-Call center at least two days prior to beginning excavation by simply dialing 8-1-1. Once the One-Call center is notified, pipeline operators, and other underground facility operators will determine and mark the exact location of a pipeline within the planned digging area. If damage occurs during excavation resulting in an emergency, dial 9-1-1.
In Texas, those excavating near a pipeline must follow additional safety requirements implemented by the Texas Railroad Commission. The requirements are the steps an excavator must take before digging or excavating. If the steps are not followed, an excavator is subject to fines and penalties by the Railroad Commission. When excavating in Texas, you must follow the steps outlined below which summarize the state law.