Today, let’s address a common item that many homeowners, farmers and ranchers may have run across.
A locate request was put to 811 for an area of your front or back yard, and after 48 hours, no flags or other markings have appeared in the area.
There are several reasons for this, and you may have to call in a Texas811 no response ticket, but a primary reason may be that some public utility companies may not mark lines that run from the meter onto private property or to the house. It is the owner of the private lines or the excavator’s responsibility to get the utilities marked before digging.
Who’s going to do this? Many times, if you are having plumbing work such as a new water supply line installed, the plumber is able to do it for you. The same goes for buried electrical – the electrician may be able to do the line locate on your property.
A good way to remember who does what is to look at the distinction between public and private utility service.
A public utility line is owned by a large corporation, a municipality, a water district, a cooperative, or the like. These entities are the ones who send you a statement every month for your gas, water, electric and sewer use, as well as your internet and phone service.
A private utility line doesn’t send you a statement. That’s because it’s yours. The line extending from the public utility’s meter, valve, junction box, transformer, pedestal or the like belongs to the landowner whose property it crosses to provide service to the residence, barn, farmhouse, business, etc. These are the lines that may not be marked by the locator who came out to identify the location of your public utilities.
As stated, either you or the excavator are required to get those lines marked, and usually the professional doing the work for you can handle that task.
If not, private line locators are commercially available to do the job. Just do a Google search for “private utility locators” in your area.
In any case, in Texas the call to 811 is still required; getting public utilities located is not only safe and the law, but it also provides a good starting point for your private locator to begin his or her work.
An 811 locate request is always free, as is the subsequent locate. A private utility locator will charge a fee, usually dependent on distance of travel and how long the job takes to accomplish. Whatever the cost, remember that it’s very cheap insurance when compared with the cost and headache of repairing a broken or severed line supplying your house!
Out of sight should never mean out of mind. At Texas811, we work hard to be your connection to safety.
Until next week, safe digging!