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Click Before You Dig



United States

Landowners and neighbors

Whether you’re planting a tree, digging a trench or building a fence, you need to be aware of the underground utilities  including gas, electric and water  on your property before you dig. Safe digging is as simple as calling your local One-Call Centre or visiting ClickBeforeYouDig.com three to five business days before starting your job.

I won't put a post in the ground without making sure you guys have been here and marked everything.”

Hugo Bonjean
Owner of Spirit Hills Winery

Approvals for working around TC Energy’s facilities

To ensure our pipelines and facilities operate safely, written consent from TC Energy must be obtained in Canada before any of the following:

  • Constructing or installing a facility across, on, along or under a TC Energy pipeline right-of-way
  • Conducting ground disturbance (excavation or digging) on or within the prescribed area (30 metres from the centerline of a pipeline)
  • Driving a vehicle, mobile equipment or machinery across a TC Energy pipeline right-of-way outside the travelled portion of a highway or public road
  • Using any explosives within 300 metres TC Energy’s right-of-way
  • Use of the prescribed area for storage purposes

TransCanada Pipeline Crossing —  Prescribed Area Graphic (metres)


How to apply for written consent

  • Determine the location of your work relative to TC Energy's facilities.
    • When planning, and before any of the work or activities, listed above, can begin, a request for written consent must be submitted to TC Energy through our online application form
    • We no longer accept applications through email
    • Location of the work is required, along with the proximity to TC Energy's rights-of-way
    • This information can be obtained through survey plans, or through a locate request
  • Make a locate request either online (ClickBeforeYouDig.com) or by calling your local One-Call Centre.
    • The One-Call Centre will notify owners of buried utilities in your area, who will send representatives to mark these facilities with flags, paint or other marks, helping you avoid damaging them. Often written consent for minor activities can be obtained directly from a regional TC Energy representative through a locate request.
  • Apply for written consent using TC Energy's online application form or call 1-877-872-5177.
  • Application assessment and consent. Once your information has been assessed and potential impacts have been evaluated, TC Energy may:
    • Grant consent without any conditions
    • Grant consent that requires certain conditions to be met to assure safety, or
    • Not grant consent


Agriculture safety

TC Energy wants to ensure the safety of everyone living or working near our facilities, which includes Canada’s active farming community.

Routine farming practices can be completed without notice to TC Energy or contacting the One-Call Centre, but ground disturbance and some other activities can pose a risk to underground utilities and may require written consent.

Visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com before undergoing any of the following activities:

  • Ground levelling
  • Sludge spreading
  • Clearing / brushing / brushing
  • Reducing or adding soil cover
  • Deep tiling / sub-soiling
  • Trenching
  • Earth moving
  • Drainage ditch clean out
  • Drain tile installation
  • Terracing
  • Fencing and landscaping
  • Excavation
  • Augering
  • Stockpiling / storage / parking
  • Blasting activities
  • Building construction
  • Controlled burning

Dig with C.A.R.E.

Click before you dig
Visit ClickBeforeYouDig.com or call your local One-Call Centre

Allow time for marking
Allow three (five in Ontario) business days across Canada

Respect the marks
Lines are marked by flags, paint or other markers (normally yellow for pipelines)

Excavate carefully
Hand dig to determine the exact locations of pipelines. All digging must take place during the time allotted by the TC Energy representative


Consequences of unsafe digging


Interrupted services
  • Interrupted services, such as electricity, natural gas and water
  • An average of 1,600 underground infrastructures are stuck annually in Canada*

*2015 CIRANO, Socio-Economic Cost Assessment for Damage to Underground Infrastructure



Fines and repair costs
  • Costs to repair underground utility line(s)
  • National Energy Board administrative monetary penalties (fines):
    • For individuals, the daily penalty could range from $250 to a maximum of $25,000 per violation
    • For companies, the daily penalty could range from $1,000 to a maximum of $100,000 per violation
  • Provincial bodies can also fine individuals or companies


Risk of serious injuries or death
  • Since 2003, Ontario has had seven fatal accidents due to damaged underground infrastructures by excavation work and British Columbia has had two fatal accidents and six seriously injured workers since 2008*

*2015 CIRANO, Socio-Economic Cost Assessment for Damage to Underground Infrastructure 

Signs of a potential pipeline leak

Although a pipeline leak is rare, it is important to know how to recognize the signs. Use your senses of smell, sight and hearing to detect a potential pipeline leak.


What you may smell

Natural gas
  • Transmission lines that transport natural gas across Canada are rarely odourized, but may have a slight hydrocarbon smell. Distribution lines that transport natural gas to homes and businesses are odourized and could smell skunk-like or similar to rotten eggs.
  • Many petroleum products have a distinct smell. Crude oil can possess a rotten egg, gasoline, tar or skunk-like odor.


What you may see

Natural gas
  • Dead or dying vegetation on or near a pipeline in a normally green area
  • Water bubbling or blowing into the air at a pond, creek or river
  • Dirt being blown or appearing to be thrown into the air
  • An accumulation of ice or frost over the pipeline (in the summer)
  • Amber to black liquid
  • Rainbow sheen or black liquid on top of water
  • Discoloured vegetation on or near a pipeline in an area that is usually green
  • Stained or melted snow/ice over pipeline areas


What you may hear

Oil or natural gas
  • A hissing, roaring or bubbling sound

Steps to take in the event of a pipeline leak

If you witness any of the signs listed above, or any other unusual sights, sounds or smells near a pipeline location, follow these steps immediately:

  1. Leave the area on foot – don’t use motor vehicles or any equipment that could be a potential ignition source.
  2. Move to a safe location and call ‘911’.
  3. Call TC Energy's emergency number. The emergency number can also be found on all TC Energy pipeline marker signs.
  4. Warn others to stay away.

Documents — Canada — Landowners and neighbours


Safety links

Click Before You Dig logo

Planning a construction project in Canada?


Canadian Common Ground Alliance (CCGA) Logo

Learn about the CCGA’s commitment to damage prevention.



Learn about the Canada Energy Board regulations.