Call Before You Dig to Know What’s Below 

April is Safe Digging Month

LACEY, Wash. - As Washington residents prepare for spring gardening, home improvement projects, and construction, the Utilities and Transportation Commission reminds everyone to call 811 before digging to prevent injuries, property damage, and service disruptions. 

April is nationally recognized as Safe Digging Month. Spring is a vital time to remember to call 811 at least two business days ahead of any digging project, big or small. This free service sends professional locators to mark underground utility lines on your property. 

Whether you plant a tree, install a mailbox, or build a fence, calling 811 is the law and the safest course of action. It helps you avoid striking buried electrical lines, gas pipes, and other utilities that can cause severe harm. 

In 2023, nearly half (46%) of the 2,069 reported underground utility damage in Washington were caused by those who did not call 811 before digging. These incidents are preventable with proper planning and a free call. 

The Utility Notification Center receives calls to 811 and sends locators to mark utility lines with color-coded flags and paint. Once the locate is complete, carefully hand-dig around marked areas to avoid accidentally contacting buried utilities. 

Last year, the notification center received 488,564 locate requests, a decrease of more than 35,757 from 2022. 

If you experience any issues with your utility locate, such as delays, incomplete markings, or inaccuracies, contact the UTC Consumer Help Line at 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email For more details on safe digging practices in Washington, visit

Established by the Legislature in 1955, the UTC’s Pipeline Safety Program regulates the safety practices of 39 pipeline operators and conducts safety inspections on more than 47,000 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


Pipeline Safety