Williams taking tech-savvy tactic to increase public safety near our assets

In April, just in time for National Safe Digging Month, Williams’ Public Safety team will begin a new geofencing campaign to strengthen public safety near our pipelines in Georgia, New Jersey, Texas and Washington.

Geofencing is more commonly used as a marketing or advertising tactic to send consumers in-app notifications when they enter a digitally geofenced area in close proximity to their brick-and-mortar business using GPS and radio frequency identification (RFID).

Williams’ geofencing campaign will involve establishing a perimeter around our assets in these states as well as identifying and targeting any internet-enabled smart devices that enter that perimeter. In addition to rights of way, the campaign also will target companies and people that have previously encroached our easements.

Anytime these smart devices access a mobile application that has advertisements enabled (e.g., weather/news apps, games, etc.), the user could potentially see a message from Williams highlighting the importance of notifying 811 prior to any excavation, as well as the importance of having a Williams representative present for any excavations within our rights of way and easements. These targeted ads will allow the user to access additional pipeline safety information on

“Williams has never done a geofencing campaign aimed at reducing encroachments before,” says Erik Rinehart, damage prevention & public awareness specialist III. “This is exciting new territory for us and we’re looking forward to seeing a measurable impact from this new supplemental outreach effort.”

Erik says Williams chose these four states to launch geofencing because they appear to have the most immediate need as determined by our most recent effectiveness measurement and third-party encroachment data.

If the campaign is successful, Williams expects a measurable decrease in unauthorized encroachments in these targeted areas and a measurable increase in knowledge and awareness of pipelines and 811 in these areas when it performs its next four-year effectiveness measurement.