Ensuring Safety and Sustainability: Why Safe Digging Matters

Ensuring Safety and Sustainability: Why Safe Digging Matters Main Photo

25 Apr 2024


Organizations across the country promote Safe Digging, raising awareness about the importance of calling 811 before starting any excavation project. For the Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission (PBRPC) in Texas, promoting safe digging practices is not just about compliance; it's about safeguarding lives, protecting infrastructure, and fostering sustainable growth in the region.

Preventing Costly Disruptions: How Calling 811 Protects Underground Utilities and Saves You Money

Calling 811 before you dig is not just a good idea—it's the law. This simple step is crucial for preventing damage to underground utilities such as gas, electric, water, sewer, and telecommunications lines. Even utilities buried just a few inches below the surface can pose severe risks if disturbed.

The PBRPC is dedicated to raising awareness about the legal requirement and importance of calling 811 before starting any digging project. Protect yourself, your community, and the underground infrastructure by making the call before you dig.

Benefits of Calling 811 Before You Dig

  • Safety: Prevents injuries and fatalities by ensuring that you know the location of underground utilities before digging.
  • Prevents Damage: Helps avoid costly damage to underground utilities, which can result in service disruptions, repair expenses, and potential fines.
  • Legal Requirement: In Texas, it is a legal requirement to call 811 before digging to prevent damage to underground infrastructure.
  • Efficiency: Saves time and effort by preventing accidental damage and the need for costly repairs or service disruptions.
  • Environmental Protection: Prevents ecological damage resulting from leaks or hazardous materials spills from damaged underground utilities.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Helps avoid the costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged underground utilities.

Safe digging is crucial to prevent accidents, injuries, and damage to underground utilities. By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your digging project is safe and successful.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Safe Digging

Contact 811:

  • Dial 811 or request online at least two business days before starting any digging project. It will notify the relevant utility companies, who will then mark the location of underground utilities in your work area.


  • Wait two business days for the utility companies to mark the work area, which allows them enough time to locate and mark any underground utilities.


  • Confirm that all affected utility companies have responded. You can verify their responses by comparing the ground markings with the utilities listed on the 811 ticket. This information is important for excavators, who should learn what each colored marking means.


  • Respect and preserve the markings provided by the utility companies. These markings are your guide for the project's duration and help prevent accidental damage to underground utilities.

Carefully dig:

  • It is the responsibility of the person digging to avoid damaging any marked lines carefully. Use appropriate digging techniques and equipment to minimize the risk of accidents or damage.

Following these steps can ensure that your digging project is completed safely and without incident. Remember, safe digging is everyone's responsibility.

The Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission is Here to Promote Resident Safety

The Permian Basin has a vast underground utilities and pipeline network, making safe digging practices essential. With its significant oil and gas industry, Texas has one-sixth of the nation's pipeline infrastructure, much of which is located in the Permian Basin.

Safe Digging Month is a crucial initiative that promotes safety, compliance, and sustainability in the Permian Basin region. This effort safeguards lives and infrastructure, preserves natural resources, and minimizes costly disruptions. By advocating for safe digging practices, the PBRPC (Permian Basin Regional Planning Commission) ensures that the Permian Basin continues to prosper, providing a vibrant and safe community for residents and businesses.

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