MarineSafe811 Provides Best Practices, Training for Underwater Line Damage Prevention

This article originally appeared in the Port Bureau News

Founded in 1984, the non-profit Texas811 is the link between anyone intending to dig and their utility companies. TX811 notifies utility companies that are registered with the organization of the planned excavation, and they send locators to mark their underground utility lines. These markings represent the approximate location of the underground utility lines. Their mission is to facilitate damage prevention, promote public safety and protect the environment through stakeholder education and communication.

Because underwater excavations pose many of the same risks as landside operations, Ed Landgraf was hired as director, marine operations and safety, for Texas811 in marine pipeline safety in 2023. Landgraf is the founder of Coastal and Marine Operators Pipeline Industry Initiative and serves as the chairman of its board of directors. ( In May of 2023, Landgraf presented marine safety measures for underwater pipelines and utilities at the Southeast Texas Excavation Safety Workshop, marking the beginning of the MarineSafe811 program and resource.
The average marine damage incident can cost an estimated one million dollars to repair, not including the expense of reputational damage or decreased ability to operate in the region, or the incalculable costs of human injury or loss. Unintended marine vessel interactions with underwater hydrocarbonPicture3 pipelines, electrical, and telecom lines can have devastating impacts to many communities and cause safety implications to mariners, especially if a gas line ruptures from a vessel strike. Any force that contacts the water bottom could cause damage no different than on land.  A “One Call” or notification should be made prior to the activity, some of which include dredging, all types of anchoring, pile driving and marine excavation.

In December 2023, MarineSafe811 teamed up with Callan Marine for a dredge operations underwater and marine pipeline and utility safety tour. The attendees included representatives from the U.S. Coast Guard, Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Texas Railroad Commission, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Texas GLO, Houston Pilots, and industry for feedback and knowledge on dredging, pipelines, regulations, 811 and utility safety.  The meeting included a tour aboard Callan Marines dredger, General MacArthur, down the Houston Ship Channel.

The event included detailed discussions on dredge operations, utility and pipeline safety, 811, mitigationsPicture2 and challenges, revised best practices, National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, and the national pipeline task force.

MarineSafe811 plans to hold future discussions with dredgers for their perspective on pipeline and utility damage prevention methods, current needs, and methods for working between the industries.

MarineSafe811’s goals are to save lives, enhance 811 awareness, provide support for underwater pipeline and utility crossings, reduce safety, environmental, and system downtime risks to marine lines through education, support and awareness.

The program provides:

  • 811 direct marine SME support
  • Best practices for underwater line damage prevention
  • FREE online training for stakeholders 
  • Marine/underwater utility online resource library available with presentation and videos
  • In-person or virtual marine risk evaluation
  • Work to enhance 811 notifications from marine partners and include them in future 811 awareness/venues.

Until the new MarineSafe811 site becomes active in early 2024, is available for training and resources. 

Ed Landgraf


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