Page 14 - Texas811 Magazine 2021 Issue 3
P. 14

Pipeline Safety; Before, During and After the Fire
12 • Texas811
2021, Issue 3
By Doug Meeks Texas811
In the world of “Know What’s Below, Call 811 Before You Dig”, we are accustomed to protecting pipelines from damage from routine construction and maintenance activities and the system works pretty well, even in emergency situations. By calling 811, participating pipeline and utility operators are notified of your intent to excavate and will respond to identify the approximate location of their underground line, enabling you to excavate safely and without damage to the underground pipeline or cable. That’s the norm for most, but one area where the 811 call centers have seen a disconnect with the “call 811 before you dig” process is prescribed burns and wildland fires. Granted,
in Texas, we tend to have minimal regulatory guidance so I’ve yet to see any government agency or industry associations mention the necessity of including a call to 811 in prescribed burn templates/best practices or in wildland fire emergency response.

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