Texas REALTORS® 2018 Winter Meeting | Feb. 9-13 | Austin, Texas

When you should call 811

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A shovel blade stuck into the ground with grass around

09/25/2015 | Author: Scott Finley, guest expert

You know to dial 911 in an emergency, but have you heard of 811? That’s the number to call before digging around your home.

Texas law requires a call to 811 before any excavation that's 16 inches or more deep to allow for underground utilities to be located and marked. Not sure how deep you'll be digging? Call 811. The call and the location services are free, and it's better to make the call than to knock out your neighbor's Internet service—or worse. 

Before you plant a tree or install a fence post, call 811. If you hire someone to install a sprinkler system, that person is required to call 811. Within two business days of the call, the appropriate utilities will visit your home and mark the location of any buried lines.  

The colors on the ground indicate what’s beneath the surface:

  • Red: electric
  • Orange: telecommunications or alarm
  • Green: sewer or drain
  • Yellow: natural gas
  • Blue: water
  • White: proposed excavation
  • Pink: temporary survey marks

Don’t risk severing a telecommunications cable or puncturing a gas or water line. Call 811. It's free, and it's easy. 



Scott Finley is media and public relations manager for Texas811.

Categories: Homeowners
Tags: texas811, legal, dig safe

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Legal disclaimer

The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on texasrealestate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on texasrealestate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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