Safe Digging and Damage Prevention
To protect people and the environment, and to reduce the risk of pipeline damage, federal and state laws require anyone planning a ground disturbance or excavation activity near a pipeline right-of-way (ROW) to request a locate in advance using clickbeforeyoudig.com or by calling their local toll-free one-call number.
Clickbeforeyoudig.com is a North American “one-window” portal for requesting location of buried utilities prior to ground disturbance. Excavators can visit the online portal to access their state or province’s one call center online. 811 is the free, FCC-designated national one-call number that connects a caller from anywhere in the country to the appropriate local one-call center. Anyone conducting soil-disturbing activities in the U.S. should use clickbeforeyoudig.com or call 811.
Though pipelines are identified by above-ground markers, the markers should never be used as a reference for the exact location of the pipeline. Also, as the depth of pipelines and other underground utilities can change over the years due to erosion, previous digging projects or uneven surfaces, there are varying depths to underground systems. That’s why it’s important to contact your local state/provincial one-call service provider, at least three days before you do any type of excavation in any area that you believe might be on or near a ROW.
Activities that require a locate request include, but are not limited to:
- fixing or improving an existing ditch, drain tile or fence
- constructing roads, paving, parking, driveways, ditches, railways, overhead or underground utilities
- installing fence posts
- altering the grade or deep tilling the soil
- operating non-agricultural equipment or vehicles on or over the ROW
- encroaching on the ROW with services or other utilities
The construction of buildings or foundations, and stockpiling of materials or burn piles, are also prohibited on the ROW.
To avoid problems and delays on your project you can:
- helping obtain written permission in advance for construction/excavation over pipelines
- locating and marking pipelines
- acquainting others with the prescribed/controlled area on either side of the pipe, and providing guidelines for excavation and blasting
- ensuring a safety field representative is on-site