Always call 811 before you dig

Houston – Aug. 11, 2022 –Aug. 11 serves as a reminder to call the national “Call Before You Dig” number – 811 – prior to any digging project, no matter how big or small the project may be. One call to 811 before digging can prevent injuries, property damage, service disruption and possible costly fines for damaged infrastructure.

“Calling 811 before you dig can eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line, helping to keep your family and community safe,” said Shane Alexander, Director, Damage Prevention for CenterPoint Energy.

Always contact 811 at least two to three days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property. When homeowners or contractors call 811, the One Call Center automatically notifies local utilities. After the request is made, professional locators are sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags and spray paint, enabling the homeowner or contractor to dig safely. If a contractor has been hired, confirm that the contractor has contacted 811.

Once a site has been accurately marked, it is safe to begin planning your excavation. Do not allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked. If the location of the project is near a utility line, consider relocating that project to a different space.

“The only way to know what is below the surface is to call and have the buried utilities in your project area marked by professionals,” said Alexander. “This free locating service is an important law designed to help maintain proper safety for the public.” 

The depth of utility lines varies, and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Whether it is a small project like planting a tree, or a larger one such as hiring a professional to install a lawn irrigation system, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.

In the case of a hit pipeline, one should leave the area immediately. Once in a safe location, report the leak by calling the CenterPoint Energy utility emergency line at 888-876-5786.

Additional information about pipeline safety can be found at www.centerpointenergy.com/811.

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