Call Before You Dig

Call Before You Dig

Planting a tree? Building a fence?

Pipeline companies take their responsibility seriously to ensure safe and reliable operations. But you too can play an important role in pipeline safety.

811Eng_hor_CMYKOne of the greatest single challenges to safe pipeline operations is the accidental damage caused by excavation, directional drilling, construction, farming activities — or even homeowners digging in their yards! Energy pipelines are especially concerned about digging around a pipeline since the release of natural gas or other highly volatile liquids can have damaging results.

Don’t ever assume you know where the underground utilities are located. Before starting any work, the law requires you to call your local ‘One-Call’ center to tell them when and where you plan to dig. One-call is a free service in most states. Contacting your state One-call is as easy as dialing 8-1-1, the national call-before-you-dig telephone number. This three-digit number will connect anyone intending to dig with their respective one call center.

When a call is made to One-Call, the pipeline owner will come to the site and mark the location using spray paint on the surface directly above the pipeline or by placing flags identifying the type of underground service. The chart below explains the color-coded markings you will see.


State laws require that you call before you dig — at least two-three business days in advance. When excavation or directional drilling is very close to the utility or pipeline, a company representative may need to stay on site to supervise the activity and protect the pipeline.

“Call Before You Dig – 811” stresses four key reminders:

  • CALL your local One-Call center
  • WAIT for the site to be marked
  • RESPECT the marks
  • DIG with care

In case of an emergency, call 911 or your local emergency response number and our 24-hour emergency number listed on the line markers near your home. Call the appropriate One-Call number immediately if one of our pipelines is struck or if you see someone working near them. Even minor dents, chips or scrapes are serious and may cause future leaks if they are not repaired.


Common Ground Alliance (CGA)

As a Silver Sponsor of the Common Ground Alliance, Williams shares the association’s commitment to protecting lives and preventing damage to underground infrastructure by promoting effective damage prevention practices. Learn more about CGA at



For more information read our Developers Handbook.

More information also can be found on the Pipeline Operators for Ag Safety page