Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance encourages Texans to call 811 before digging

KTAB 4U

News release from The Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance:

Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance (TPAA) hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. This comes on the heels of a recent report, which determined an underground utility line is damaged during digging projects every three minutes nationwide.

“We want to remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Kelee Lusk, with Atmos Energy, and President of TPAA. “It really is the only way to know which utilities are buried in your area and there is really no excuse to not take advantage of this fast, free and easy service. In fact, in Texas it is the law that you must Call 811.”

When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to their local one-call center, which then notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both.

Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, requires a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, installing a sprinkler system and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.

Visit www.pipeline-safety.org for more information about 811 and safe digging practices.

Texas is home to over 440,000 miles of pipelines, operated by over 1,400 companies; by far the largest pipeline infrastructure in the nation. Pipelines play a significant role in the oil, gas and petrochemicals industries contributing more than $160 billion annually to the Texas economy. Texas is the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the United States and Texans consume the most energy in the country, both per capita and in total. Texas’ pipelines are working every day to deliver that energy efficiently, safely and in an environmentally friendly way. Pipeline companies carefully build and maintain these lines and monitor their operations around-the-clock. Pipelines are safe and serious pipeline problems are rare, and in many cases,

preventable. Yet, failure to call before digging results in over 9,000 unintentional hits and damage to pipeline infrastructure annually according to the Texas Railroad Commission. Although most were minor, some did require repair and even taking the line out of service, disrupting service to consumers and businesses. A simple call to 8-1-1 to have those lines marked could have prevented damage in many cases. The Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance reminds excavators and homeowners throughout Texas to Call 8-1-1 before digging. Safe digging is no accident. For more information, visit www.Pipeline-Safety.org.

About the Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance (TPAA):

The Texas Pipeline Awareness Alliance (TPAA) is an association of pipeline companies with operations in Texas. The TPAA was formed in 2006 to promote pipeline safety and increase public awareness and education about pipelines throughout the state, including the need to call 8-1-1 before you dig, how to recognize a pipeline Right-Of-Way and what to do and who to call in the event of a leak. The TPAA uses television, radio, magazine, newspaper and Internet advertising, in both English and Spanish, as well as participation in public events and meetings to help educate the public on their role in pipelines’ safe operation. Additionally, representatives of TPAA member companies are interviewed throughout the year on television and for newspaper across Texas. The TPAA also operates its own Public Awareness website, in English and Spanish at www.Pipeline-Safety.org.

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