The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Did You Know? Dial Before You Dig

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted August 11, 2009

Did you know that today is National 811 Day? It's a date set aside by the Common Ground Alliance (CGA) to promote awareness of underground utilities through the use of the nationwide "811" call-in number for individuals, companies and governments preparing to dig.

And in Georgia, Colonial Pipeline has finished painting a set of its giant storage tanks with the "811 - Call Before You Dig" emblem as part of its efforts to prevent damage to underground utilities.

811 for Greensboro.jpg

Companies like Colonial work to improve safety records every day. The petroleum storage tanks provide a big canvas for reminding homeowners, farmers and contractors - even local governments - to call the national toll-free number before beginning a digging or excavation project.

Colonial, whose pipeline extends from Houston to the New York harbor, receives nearly 1,000 alerts each day as a result of people calling "811" before they dig. Most of these are dealt with electronically or by phone, but each day approximately 150 require an in-person inspection of the worksite.

For more information on the importance of dialing 811 before digging in areas where pipelines may be present, listen to the EnergyTomorrow Radio episode using the player below.


Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.