This week is the BIG WEEK for 811. Tuesday, August 11 is National 811 Day. (8/11…get it?)
The date is promoted by the Common Ground Alliance, a member-driven association of 1,700 individuals, organizations and sponsors in every facet of the underground utility industry. Established in 2000, CGA is committed to saving lives and preventing damage to North American underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices.
In Texas, Texas811 is a Silver Sponsor of the CGA. Texas811, with nearly 1500 member utilities and municipalities, handles over 12,000 calls per day from Texans who want to get underground lines located before they dig. In 2014, Texas811 fielded over 2.5 million such calls. The call center is open 24/7/365, the call to 811 is free, and so is the subsequent locating service.
How great is the need for 811 in Texas? The Railroad Commission of Texas keeps records of just the oil/natural gas pipelines struck in the state by excavators. In 2014, over 9000 such instances were recorded. And again, that doesn’t include cable tv, telecommunications, water utilities, etc. that keep track of their own hits but don’t publish the information.
National 811 Day is a reminder for everyone in the United States to call 811 before digging, from contractors to professional excavators to homeowners. We all have a stake in protecting our underground infrastructure.
Of course there are events marking 811 day all over the nation, and all over Texas. Here in Dallas, Texas811 is part of three events. We are taking part in a ceremonial tree planting of what will be the first of eight hundred and eleven trees planted across Texas by Atmos Energy. That happens in Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas in the morning. Second, Texas811 is helping to sponsor Tuesday night’s Frisco Roughriders baseball game at home versus the Tulsa Drillers. And finally, at dusk the Texas811 logo and message about safe digging will be visible for miles thanks to the amazing light show provided by the 23 story animated display of the Dallas Omni hotel.
But as they say on television, wait, there’s more!
Texas811 is part of PBS special titled “Guarding Unseen Texas – The 811 System.” This half hour program has already been cleared at six of Texas’ 12 PBS affiliates. It will be airing on 811 day on KAMU in Bryan/College Station at seven pm, on KLRU-Q in Austin at 6:30 pm, and on stations in Corpus Christi, El Paso, Killeen and Harlingen later in the month.
Here’s the complete schedule:
8/9/2015 – El Paso @ 11:00 AM
8/11/2015 – Austin @ 6:30 PM & Bryan @ 7:00 PM
8/13/2015 – Bryan @ 8:30 PM & Waco @ 8:30 PM
8/15/2015 – Harlingen @ 4:30 PM & Bryan @ 5:30 PM
8/16/2015 – Harlingen @ 12:00 PM & Bryan @ 5:30 PM
TBD in September – Amarillo & Corpus Christi
Please help us promote this program and get the message out to everyone in TEXAS!!
Finally, Texas811 is a Damage Prevention organization, and it doesn’t stop with what’s underground. We want to prevent damage to our employees (and everyone else) as well!
That’s why we’re initiating the Texas811 “It Can Wait” campaign. Our employees can take a voluntary pledge to be safe on the way to work – on the way home from work – and in short, everywhere they go in the car. Here’s a look at the pledge – and please, feel free to adapt it for your OWN use!!!
Until next week – safe digging AND safe driving!!!!