Louisiana Pipeline Awareness > Louisiana > Damage Prevention
Call before you dig, IT’S FREE, AND IT’S THE LAW!
Because even relatively minor excavation activities like landscaping or fencing can cause damage to a pipeline, its protective casing and/or buried utility lines, always contact your state One-Call Center before engaging in any excavation, construction, farming or digging. Most states require 48 hours notice to the site. In fact, most serious damage done to pipelines is done when a third party inadvertently excavates blasts or drills within a pipeline right-of-way. By contacting the One-Call Center first, this type of damage can be prevented. Sometimes pipeline companies will require a representative present to monitor the safe excavation.
No one digs more dirt than America’s farmers and ranchers, which is why many agricultural operations such as chisel plowing, deep ripping, drain tile installation and other deep excavation activities can benefit from calling 811.
811 is a new federally-mandated number designated by the FCC to consolidate all local “Call Before You Dig” numbers and help save lives by minimizing damages to underground utilities. One easy phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground pipelines and utility lines marked for FREE. When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, your call will be routed to your state One-Call Center. Once your underground lines have been marked for your project, you will know the approximate location of your pipelines and utility lines, and can continue your project by digging with care and respecting the marks. More information regarding 811 can be found at www.call811.com.
How can you help.
While accidents pertaining to pipelines and pipeline facilities are very rare, awareness of the location of the pipeline, the potential hazards, and what to do if a leak does occur can help minimize the number of accidents that do occur. A leading cause of pipeline incidents is third-party excavation damage. Pipeline operators are responsible for the safety and security of their respective pipelines. To help maintain the integrity of pipelines and their rights-of-way, it is essential that pipeline and facility neighbors protect against unauthorized excavations or other destructive activities. Here’s what you can do to help:
Become familiar with the pipelines and pipeline facilities in the area (marker signs, fence signs at gated entrances, etc).
Record the operator name, contact information and any pipeline information from nearby marker/facility signs and keep in a permanent location near the telephone.
Be aware of any unusual or suspicious activities or unauthorized excavations taking place within or near the pipeline right-of-way or pipeline facility; report any such activities to the pipeline operator and the local law enforcement.