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Call Before You Dig

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811 Know What's Below. Call Before You Dig

Preventing Underground Utility Damage

The only way you can be sure that you are digging safely is to Call 811 Before You Dig, and request a FREE underground utility locate.

How to Request a Locate

At least two business days before you plan on digging:

Be sure to provide the following information:

  • Where you're planning to dig, and
  • What type of work you will be doing.
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Uniform Color Code for Underground Utility Lines.  White, proposed excavation. Pink Temporary survey markings. Red electric power. Yellow, Gas, oil, steam, petroleum. Orange, communications.

You will also need to outline your dig area with white paint before you call; this helps utilities identify your dig area quickly and accurately.

Digging anywhere in the state of Washington without calling for a utility locate is against state law. Failure to call may result in fines, charges for damages, and criminal convictions.

Affected local utility companies will be notified about your intent to dig. They will send a locator to mark the approximate location of your underground utilities, follow the APWA color codes so you'll know what's below - and be able to dig safely. 

For more information, visit www.call811.com.

What is under your lawn?

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Locations of possible utility lines under your lawn. Water, Sewer, Gas, Electric, Phone and Cable, Storm Drains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Private Utilities

Some underground lines in your work area may not be utility owned. These are considered private facilities and will NOT be marked by public utility companies. Types of private facilities include, but are not limited to, heating systems for pools, electricity for outbuilding, invisible fences, fiber optic lines, septic systems, and satellite dishes. If you think you may have private facilities you should contact a private utility locator to identify and locate them. Private Locator Options

Dig Law for Realtors

When installing any type of sign, including those used for real estate, a locate must be requested. Residential yards have numerous underground utility lines that can be damaged when installing a sign. Not only is damaging an underground utility costly, it also poses a safety hazard. Please use this link for a flyer that can be shared with real estate offices and sign installers: Dig Law for Realtors

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Call 811 now or 911 later

Smart Digging

When digging within two feet of the marked area, only use small hand tools such as a garden trowel to carefully expose the utility line. Keep in mind that utility installation is not the same for all utilities and requirements have changed through the years. Not all utilities are installed with protective casings and can be vulnerable to damage by tools as simple as a shovel. Always proceed with caution when digging around utility lines. 

Utility Locate Problem?

  • If a locate was late, inaccurate, or incomplete - report it to the UTC. Call 1-888-333-WUTC (9882) or email consumer@utc.wa.gov.
  • Are you concerned about excavation occurring without locates? Call 811 and request a Safety Ticket
  • You can also file a complaint with the Washington Dig Law Safety Committee - complaint form.

Dig Law Safety Committee

If you feel a violation of the state dig law has occurred, you can file a complaint with the Washington Dig Law Safety Committee. The committee, created by statutory requirement, is made up of 13 members representing a variety of stakeholders throughout the digging and utility industry. A list of the current members of the committee can be found here: Dig Law Safety Committee. The committee will hear complaints and make recommendations to the UTC for enforcement action. If you want to file a complaint with the Dig Law Safety Committee, visit: www.washington-ucc.org.  

April is Safe Digging Month

Before you dig into spring projects, make sure you Call 811 Before You Dig and practice safe digging!

For more information, email damageprevention@utc.wa.gov