Customer Notice

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On 8-11 remember to call 811 before you dig

Media Contact: (360) 664-1116 or media@utc.wa.gov  

On 8-11 remember to call 811 before you dig  

Request utility locates at least two business days before digging starts 

LACEY, Wash. – Tomorrow, Aug. 11 marks the date 8-11 as a natural reminder to call 811 for a free utility locate prior to any digging project.  

Anyone planning to dig—installing a fence or mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree, or undertaking any other project below the surface—must call 811 at least two business days before the planned project start date. 

In 2020, there were 2,496 reports of damages to underground utilities due to excavation activity in Washington.  

UTC staff investigated 62 dig incidents and sent more than 450 warning letters in 2020.  

The commission issued more than $75,000 in penalties against excavators last year for violations of the dig law, many of which resulted in interruptions to essential water, telecommunications, natural gas, and electric services. 

Prevent damage to underground utilities by following safe digging practices and making the call to 811.  

A call to 811 connects you to the one-call notification center. The center will ask for specific information about your project and then notify the appropriate utility companies of your intent to dig. You will need to outline the dig site in white spray paint. Professional locators are then sent to the site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with spray paint or flags.  

You can also request a utility locate, and check the status of your request, online by visiting www.callbeforeyoudig.org.  

The risk of damaging an underground utility line exists anytime you dig. Striking a utility line can cause injuries, damages, fines, and outages. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous landscaping, and uneven surfaces.  

If you have called 811 and your utility locate is late, incomplete, or inaccurate, please call the UTC Consumer Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email consumer@utc.wa.gov.  

Visit the UTC’s Call Before You Dig page for more information about 811 and the call before you dig process.  

Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC’s Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 32 pipeline operators and conducts safety inspections on more than 44,000 miles of natural gas and hazardous-liquid pipelines in Washington. The UTC also regulates private, investor-owned natural gas, electric, water, and telecommunication utilities in the state. More information on the UTC Pipeline Safety Program can be found at www.utc.wa.gov/pipeline
 

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