Before Digging Under Your Property: Call 811

August 11, 2020

AUSTIN – Unintentionally tearing into things buried underground is a big deal, one that can affect your home and your neighborhood.

That’s why Texas 811 is such an important resource. Today, Aug. 11, is the National 811 Day, a nation-wide reminder of the value of the service. 

Homeowners, excavators, and contractors are required by law to call 811 at least two days before digging. A caller tells the location of the dig, and affected pipeline and utility companies in the area will send locators to the dig site to mark the approximate location of buried lines with flags or paint.

"The ultimate goal of Texas811is to focus on safety and drive down damage,” said Jamie Renard, the Railroad Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention Manager. “A homeowner may not know what’s buried underground. There could be pipelines, water and sewer lines, electric cables, and other utilities.”

The number of 811 calls has risen considerably. In 2008, there were more than 1.8 million calls, but in 2019, that went up to more than 3.6 million.

The call to 811 is free and invaluable to families and neighbors. Homeowners can also file an online request to locate on the Texas811 website at

A free, one-hour online training is also available for interested excavators to learn about the regulatory requirements of the 811 process, which includes requesting underground facility locations, line locator response to your request, incorporating safe excavation practices to avoid damage, fundamental incident investigation techniques, documentation, and reporting. Here is the webinar schedule:

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit