The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Before You Dig: 811

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 2, 2012

April is National Safe Digging Month, and America's oil and natural gas companies join with the Common Ground Alliance on a simple message: Call 811 a few days before any digging project. API Pipeline Director Peter Lidiak:

"Eight-one-one should become as familiar to Americans as 911. April is the traditional start of digging season.  We strongly encourage individuals and companies to call 811 before they begin digging.  Millions of us live, work or play near or above pipelines and other underground infrastructure.  We need to protect it by calling 811.”

API encourages homeowners and professional excavators to:

  • Always call 811 a few days before digging, regardless of the depth or familiarity with the property.
  • Plan ahead.  Call on Monday or Tuesday for work planned for an upcoming weekend, providing ample time for the approximate location of lines to be marked.
  • Confirm with your local one call center that all lines have been marked
  • Learn what the various colors of pain and flags represent at Call 811 FAQs.
  • Consider moving the location of your project if it is near utility line markings.
  • If a contractor has been hired, confirm that a call to 811 has been made.  Don’t allow work to begin if the lines aren’t marked.

For more information, visit Call 811 today to learn more about 811 and safe digging practices.


Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.