Prevent Utility Damage by Calling Before You Dig
By Office of Communication
Posted on August 13, 2012, August 13, 2012

There are millions of miles of underground utility lines in the United States. These buried facilities, including gas, water, sewer, cable TV, high-speed Internet, landline telephone and electric, provide the services Americans depend on daily

Each year, more than 165,000 underground utility lines are unintentionally damaged nationwide and one in three is caused by failure to call 811 before digging, according to Common Ground Alliance (CGA). CGA is the leading association created specifically to work with allindustry stakeholders in an effort to prevent damage to underground utility infrastructure and ensure public safety and environmental protection.

You must call 811 for every digging project, no matter how large or small, whether it will be completed by you or a professional. 811 is a free, FCC-designated national number that connects a caller to the appropriate local one-call center. The one-call center then alerts the appropriate underground facility owners, such as cable TV or electric, so they can dispatch locators to mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags.

In the City of Arlington, the Public Works and Water Utilities departments are not a part of the local 811 call-center. These departments must be contacted separately from 811. Water Utilities is responsible for water and sanitary sewer lines. Public Works is responsible for traffic signal, street light and fiber optics lines.

The process is easy. Simply contact 811 and the City Arlington two days prior to the project's start. A representative will ask for the location and a description of your project. A specialist will be sent to the proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of your lines. Once the locations have been marked, you can begin your project. Remember, while every effort is made to accurately identify the location of the public utilities, care should always be taken when excavating around utility corridors.

The City's numbers are as follows:
Water Utilities Department: 817-459-5900
Public Works and Transportation Department: 817-459-6550

For more information about 811, visit


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