Pipelines and the Public
Nothing is more important than the safety and reliability of our pipeline operation. Keeping the affected public aware of accidents and maintenance along the pipeline is a crucial element to ensuring maximum safety. In return, diligent, educated citizens along the line can help alert us to safety issues like unauthorized digging, tampering or possible leaks.
Safety is Cooperative
Pipeline companies strive to maintain an incident-free enterprise. To accomplish this, oil and gas pipeline managers have created a free telephone service called One Call.
One Call is a cooperation between pipeline companies and other below-ground utilities, like water and sewer mains, electricity and telephone lines.
One Call requires you to inform pipeline owners and other underground utilities about digging and excavation activities that could affect their operation. The utility manager then provides above-ground locations of relevant lines using standard American Public Works Association (APWA) markings.
The One Call partnership helps prevent excavation, construction, agriculture and other activity that can accidentally damage underground lines. The service covers the entire U.S.
To raise public awareness about One Call, utilities and the federal government - including the U.S. Department of Transportation's Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration - have teamed up to launch a communications campaign called DIG SAFELY. This campaign helps communicate proper procedures for using One Call centers. In addition, DIG SAFELY offers information on safe digging procedures, as well as techniques for locating pipelines and other underground utility lines.
In the event that the local One Call phone number is unknown, DIG SAFELY provides a national referral number: 1-888-258-0808.
The 5 Key Points of DIG SAFELY:
Call Before You Dig
Await the Required Time
Respect the Marks
Excavate (Dig) with Care
Safety is Everyone's Responsibility
To help spread the message, a comprehensive manual has been published and the DIG SAFELY message is being displayed in hardware stores and facilities that rent digging equipment.
The One Call alliance and the DIG SAFELY campaign are measurably successful. The number of pipeline incidents has decreased 40 percent and the volume of oil released through damage has decreased 60 percent since the launch of the campaigns.
A new, national "Call Before You Dig" number, 811, was created to help protect you from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on digging projects. Federal law mandates that every project that involves digging - regardless of how large or small - requires a call to 811.
Making assumptions about the safety of digging is unsafe. You should always have utility lines marked, regardless of common concerns about project delays, costs and previous calls you have made about past projects.
If you hit an underground utility line while digging, you can harm yourself or those around you. It is possible to disrupt service to an entire neighborhood. And, you could be fined or held accountable for repair costs.