Safe Digging: Why Calling 811 Matters
Source: Texas 811

Safe Digging: Why Calling 811 Matters

June 17 2024


After the recent devastating storm that has impacted many fences and trees in our region, homeowners planning to install new fences or trees are reminded of the importance of calling 811 before they dig. This simple step can prevent costly damage, ensure safety, and comply with legal requirements.

What is 811?

When you call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, you're ensuring that underground utility lines are marked before any digging begins. Many people overlook this crucial step until it’s too late—when a project has already damaged a utility line. In fact, 74% of Texans are unaware of the importance of every dig counting. 

Texas811 coordinates with the 811 contact center, utility locators, and companies to facilitate safe digging. After receiving your project details, 811 notifies utilities and dispatch locators to mark underground lines at your site within two business days, helping to prevent accidents with flags or paint markings on the ground.

Why Call 811?

Calling 811 connects you with your local utility companies, who will mark the location of underground utility lines on your property free of charge. This helps prevent accidental damage to essential services like gas, water, electricity, and communications.

Post-Storm Considerations

In the aftermath of a storm that may have damaged or displaced fences and/or trees, it's crucial to check the location of utility lines before beginning any excavation work. Installing new fences and trees without this precaution can lead to unintended disruptions in service, safety hazards, and potential fines.

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How to Proceed
  1. Contact 811: Call 811 or visit to request utility marking at least a few days before starting your fence installation project.

  2. Wait for Markings: Allow utility companies sufficient time to mark the underground lines with flags or paint. Learn what each colored marking means. Respect these markings to avoid digging in those areas.

  3. Safety First: Always dig carefully around marked areas and use hand tools initially to verify the exact location of utilities before using mechanized equipment.

By following these steps and calling 811, homeowners can ensure a safe and efficient fence or tree installation process while protecting underground infrastructure. Remember, safety starts with awareness and responsible digging practices. For more information on safe digging guidelines, visit or contact your local utility provider. Let’s keep our community safe and connected as we recover from recent storms.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek, authorTiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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