You have the power to prevent pipeline damage – call before you dig!

First the bad news:

A common cause of pipeline damage is construction and excavation by third parties.

In fact, in the past 10 years there were 41 recorded third party damages to CEPA’s member company pipelines; seven of those incidents resulted in a leak or spill.

What exactly does that mean?

Well, pipelines can experience major damage if they’re hit, possibly resulting in a leak or a spill. But pipeline damage can be seemingly minor as well. It’s possible to knick the special coating on the outside of a pipe, exposing it to the environment. This can lead to a potential leak or spill in the future.

Here’s the reality: any type of pipeline damage, no matter how small, can have serious repercussions for the public and environment.

Now the good news:

Third party damage to pipelines is completely preventable – and it’s easy. Know where the pipelines are located and call before you dig.

If you’re planning a construction or excavation project, it’s your responsibility to take certain steps to prevent pipeline damage.

Start by calling the toll-free one-call number in your province or contacting your local pipeline company before you begin any work.

Think this takes too much time or will delay your project? It doesn’t have to.

Make calling before you dig the initial step in your project timeline and you’ll be meeting your responsibility to prevent pipeline damage, while finishing your work on schedule.

“Damage prevention truly starts with you. Only you have the power to plan your activity, and calling before you dig is the first step,” says Fraser Paterson, Manager Land, Right of Way and Corridor at Alliance Pipeline Ltd.

To find your provincial one-call number, check out our Call Before You Dig contact list.


The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 110,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2011, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.