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API: Be Safe - Know what’s below before you dig, call 811

Sabrina Fang | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, August 11, 2017 ─ Today the American Petroleum Institute marked National Safe Digging Day with a friendly reminder to all Americans to always call 811 before any digging  project to protect vital infrastructure.

“Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811,” said API Pipeline Manager David Murk. “We need the public’s help to prevent accidents resulting from excavation damage to pipelines. 

“This simple practice of calling 811 will help keep you and your neighbors safe. Striking a single utility service line can cause personal injury, property damage and outages that inconvenience communities. In addition, persons responsible for striking utility lines can also face the costs of repairs and fines.”

There are 20 million miles of buried utility lines, more than 190,000 miles of liquid pipelines and over 300,000 miles of natural gas pipelines that crisscross the U.S.

API encourages homeowners and professional excavators to take the following steps before any digging project: 

  • Always call 811 at least 48 hours before digging (some states require a different waiting period), regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead. Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked. 
  • Learn what the various colors of paint and flags represent by clicking HERE.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings. 
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made. Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

Visit for more safe digging information. 

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 40 million Americans.