1. EN
  2. FR
  3. ES

Call Before You Dig — Landowners

United States

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 contacting '811' or visiting Call811.com two to three business days before starting your job.

Know What's Below! Call 811 Before You Dig

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

Crossings and encroachments

A crossing or encroachment is a temporary or permanent structure across, on, along or under a pipeline facility or pipeline right-of-way. A crossing can also mean equipment or machinery crossing over the pipeline right-of-way or facility site.  Like excavations, crossings and encroachments can pose a threat to the pipeline.

If you think your activity requires a crossing agreement with TC Energy, please contact us. To better serve you and speed up your request, please provide the following information:

  • Proposed activity – what are you planning to do?
  • Location of proposed work (GPS coordinates preferred)
  • Make(s) and model(s) of any of the equipment that will cross/encroach the pipeline facilities
  • Proposed activity date
  • Axel load (weight)
  • Your name and phone number
  • Email address

Once you have received crossings approval, the party completing the work must call ‘811’ to request a locate of the pipelines before beginning work.

Agriculture safety

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

Routine farming practices can be completed without notice to TC Energy or contacting '811', but ground disturbance and some other activities can pose a risk to underground utilities and may require permission from TC Energy.

Contact '811' before undergoing any of the following activities:

  • Ground leveling
  • Sludge spreading
  • Clearing / brushing / grubbing
  • Reducing or adding soil cover
  • Deep tilling / sub-tilling
  • 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.

Call '811' before you dig
Or visit Call811.com

Allow required time for marking
Allow two-to-three business days (varies by state)

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
  • Underground utilities are damaged every two minutes in the United States due to unsafe excavation work*

*2015, Common Ground Alliance, DIRT Report

Fines and repair costs
  • Costs to repair underground utility line(s)
  • Enforcement guidelines are state-specific
Risk of serious injuries or death
  • Since 2008, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has reported 98 injured workers and 17 fatalities due to damages done to underground infrastructures during excavation work**

**2015, PHMSA, Serious Pipline Incidents

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 the U.S. are rarely odorized, but may have a slight hydrocarbon smell. Distribution lines that transport natural gas to homes and businesses are odorized 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
  • Discolored 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.

Safety links

Know What's Below! Call 811 Before You Dig.

Planning a digging project in the U.S., Call '811'?



Learn about the Common Ground Alliance’s commitment to damage prevention.



Learn about the Excavation Damage Prevention Toolbox.


Learn about Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Association regulations.