August 11, 2022, Brought Awareness of the Potential for Injuries, Property Damage and Outages if Underground Utilities are Damaged

ACCORDING TO the Texas Railroad Commission’s Pipeline Damage Prevention program, “Texas has more miles of pipeline than any other state. In reports submitted to the Texas Railroad Commission in 2020, 27% of pipeline damages are done by people digging with hand tools, such as shovels.”

Contacting 811 before digging is the easiest way to avoid damaging buried utilities. When calling 811, homeowners, DIYers, and contractors will connect to the local One Call center which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators then arrive at the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground utility lines with flags, spray paint or both.

For 811 Day, Texas811 developed community outreach efforts and public awareness campaigns with a focus on advertising the importance of calling 811 with messaging on podcasts, Amazon video ads, radio, and geofencing campaigns. In addition, Texas811 was visible on YouTube, Nextdoor and various social media outlets.

John Sparks, Director of Damage Prevention and Public Awareness, stated: “It is critical for us to raise awareness for the service we provide. If we can prevent just one damage resulting in financial headache or even worse, injury or loss of life, then it is worth every ounce of effort put into it. I often feel like homeowners fail to realize just how much underground infrastructure is out there, and the varying depths in which those utilities might be located. So, opportunities like 811 Day provides a platform to heighten awareness and educate those who might have otherwise not known about what lies below.”

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