In 2017, a pair of pipeline ruptures in Lubbock in the same day forced the evacuation of dozens of people. Both ruptures were caused by excavators, and fortunately no one was hurt.
The end result was inconvenience, and the expense of repairs.
Other times it doesn’t end so well – if that’s the word for it.
Take this example from Illinois – a report in the Chicago Tribune here says a father and son operating a tiling plow ruptured a natural gas pipeline on December 5th, 2017. The resulting explosion killed both men. Here’s the key part of the report: The investigation determined the owner of the land did not contact the Joint Utility Locating Information for Excavators before beginning the project.
Contact 811 before you dig. Reduce your chances of hitting anything you shouldn’t to less than one percent. That’s the message your Damage Prevention Managers and Damage Prevention Councils of Texas want to get across to anyone digging in Texas.
The best tool that we have for this is the Mock Line Strike/PipelineResponse event we put on in conjunction with Enertech.
These are real-life scenarios, complete with utility locators, pipeline operators, heavy equipment operators, a fully charged (with compressed air) buried “mock” pipeline, and even local first responders.
You can see a great example of one of these shows here. This was coverage done by Austin NBC affiliate KXAN of a recent event in Georgetown. KXAN is owned by Nexstar Media Group, and as a result this story was picked up and run by all other Nexstar stations in the state, reaching a viewing audience in 150 counties.
But it’s not enough. There’s always someone else to remind about the 811 system; about how easy it is to use, about how it costs nothing to use, and about how in Texas it’s the law to use.
Out of sight should never mean out of mind. Your DPC’s of Texas are working hard to be your connection to safety.
Don’t forget that the International Utility Locate Rodeois coming up Thursday – Saturday October 11 – 13 in Denton, Texas.