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Learn Why It’s Important to Call 811 Before Any Digging Excavation

What’s underground?

Know where utility lines are located at all times before you dig. Your life may depend on it

The best way to answer that question is with another question:  what isn’t underground?

At Roto-Rooter, the plumbers and sewer excavation crews no doubt run into many things underground in the pursuit of their jobs, from trenching out a new line, to making sewer repairs on an existing line, to excavating for a septic tank,  and while some of those finds may be interesting – any dinosaur bones? – some of them, like natural gas lines and electrical lines, can be downright deadly.

Texas811 is part of the national 811 “call before you dig” system. We’re proud to be partnering with Roto-Rooter in Texas to get the word out about safe digging practices. In Texas it’s the law that a call be made to 811 prior to any excavation more than 16 inches deep – but we recommend a call for ANY excavation, no matter how deep the cut.

The 811 number is valid in every state, thanks to a ruling by the FCC in 2005. It is part of the so-called “N-1-1” numbering system, which includes Community Information and Referral Service, 211; Non-Emergency Police and Other Governmental Services, 311; Local Directory Assistance, 411; Traffic and Transportation Information, 511; Repair Service, 611; Telecommunications Relay Service, 711; and Emergency Services, 911.

Anywhere in the nation that you dial 8-1-1 you will immediately be routed to the nearest One Call center that will take your dig information and issue a locate request ticket to relevant utilities or municipalities in your dig area.  Those utilities have 48 hours to respond and mark the location of their buried lines.

Here is what the colored flags or spray paint marks on the ground stand for – the uniform color code of the American Public Works Association:

When you see these flags or paint marks at your dig site, proceed with caution. Hand dig carefully until you unearth the buried lines below.

Texas811 is, first and foremost, a damage prevention company. We serve over 1,400 member utilities and municipalities in Texas, and in 2014 processed 2,629,287 inbound ticket requests by sending out 14,045,818 notifications to utilities and municipalities for line locates.

We’re glad to be serving Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service in Texas, too!

Because of their close partnership with Roto-Rooter, Texas811 was invited to write a guest post for the Roto-Rooter blog.

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