The clouds finally cleared in Dallas for a day, and sitting out in the backyard at night you could see stars and a shining moon. You can see even more in the night skies if you know where to look, just like in underground damage prevention.
A dead give away is the presence of underground utility markers or of 811 gas pipeline warning signs. They usually look like this:
Unfortunately, not everything is so visibly marked. That’s why you call 811, to get an underground utility locating service out to your proposed dig site to find those buried lines first.
Damage prevention begins with knowing what you are digging into, and that means call before you dig – anywhere.
But just like Ghostbusters, who ya gonna call? In Texas it’s Texas811 or 1-800-DIG TESS.
Texas811 is the largest free-standing one-call contact center in the United States, processing more than 3,000,000 inbound requests and sending out more than 16,000,000 notifications a year.
And so is 1-800-DIG TESS.
That was the number to call in Texas for getting underground facilities located prior to the FCC ruling that made 811 a national call center number. “DIG” stands for, well, dig. And “TESS” is an acronym for our legal name, Texas Excavation Safety System.
The following was written by Texas811 Director of Customized Solutions, Kyle VanLandingham:
Before Texas811 got its current name, we were known simply as Dig Tess. At some point or another, just about everyone in the industry has referred to us as “Dig Test”, or at least knows someone who has. Tess was such an odd word to begin with unless you have a family member that is adorned with the name, or are a fan of Thomas Hardy literature. It was so prevalent back in the day that most of us here just ignored it and went along with it. That likely added to the problem because our disregard of the mispronunciation probably led people to think that they had it right all along. The weird thing about it was that while “Dig Test” was inaccurate, it was oddly fitting. It was difficult enough to get my friends and family to understand what I was saying, much less someone over the phone who had never heard of us before. I always resorted to reading out the acronym of Tess; Texas Excavation Safety System. It seemed much more descriptive of the actual job we were doing anyway.
So, millions and millions of locate requests later, we still get plenty of 1-800-DIG-TESS calls (yes, the line is still active, and will remain active) as well as the much more used 811 number.
Finally, I alluded to other things you can see in the night sky, if you know where to look – like the International Space Station.
Click here and enjoy the sight of the station passing overhead where you live – you won’t soon forget it! https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/
Until next week, safe digging!