Call Before You Dig

In May 2007, the federally mandated "Call Before You Dig" telephone number “811” was activated. With more than sixty two One Call numbers across the country, 811 eliminates confusion by providing one national number you can call to request utility locates. When you dial 811 before digging in Texas, your call will be routed to the Texas statewide 800 # and distributed to a One Call center. This transfer is immediate and not apparent to the caller. The One Call center that receives the notification will notify their members of your intent to excavate and then share the request with the other call centers, as specified by Texas law.

811 will not replace 1-800-DIG TESS. It is simply an additional means for excavators, especially contractors working across state lines and homeowners that may not be familiar with One Call, to request utility locates. The One Call process will remain the same and continue to notify participating utility operators, who will mark their underground lines free of charge.

If you are wondering exactly who is behind the 811 campaign, the answer is the Common Ground Alliance (CGA). CGA was created specifically to work with all industry stakeholders in an effort to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure and ensure public safety and environmental protection.

Officially formed in 2000, CGA represents a continuation of the United States Department of Transportation's Common Ground Study – a study that highlighted the need for one organization to continuously update best practices for the growing underground utility industry.

Along with the new 811 number, CGA has launched a national Call Before You Dig campaign to increase public awareness about the importance of calling 811, having utility lines marked before digging, and protecting America's vast underground infrastructure of pipelines, conduits, wires and cables.

Additional information about CGA and the 811 utility damage prevention campaign is available at: