The Consumer Protection Help Line hours have changed. It is now available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. You can always file a complaint at any time online, by mail, or email.

Customer Notice

For the latest information, resources, and guidance related to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 information page or visit our COVID-19 Utility Bill Assistance page.

Dig Law

Image
Chart showing 811 call day vs when digging can begin

Call 811 Before You Dig is necessary to prevent damages and injuries! Use the chart to plan your project to allow enough time for underground utilities to be located. 

Just CLICK OR CALL 811, wait the required two business days for facility owners to mark their facilities, respect and maintain the marks, and then dig with care to avoid damage. The service is provided free to the excavator and Washington law requires that underground utilities be located prior to digging.

If an underground utility is hit while digging, it can cause serious injuries, lead to utility outages that disrupt service to entire neighborhoods, and can potentially result in fines and costly repairs.

To comply with Washington's Dig Law, RCW 19.122, and begin the locating and marking process, call 811 or click callbeforeyoudig.org at least two business days before you dig (excluding Saturday, Sunday, and legal holidays).

Your Responsibilities

If you are an excavator 

Under the dig law, excavators must: 

  • Give two to ten day notice before excavation.
  • Mark the excavation area with white paint.
  • Confer with the facility operator if you are involved with a large project or have multiple sites.
  • Maintain your marks for 45 days or until the project is complete, whichever is shorter. If your project continues past 45 days, you must call for a new locate.
  • Hold construction until all known facilities are marked or you are provided information regarding unlocatable underground facilities.

If you are installing signs

  • When installing any type of sign, including those used for real estate or political signs, a locate must be requested.
  • Give two to ten day notice before excavation.
  • Mark the excavation area with white paint.
  • Residential yards and right-of-ways, 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. 

If you are a facility operator

Under the dig law, facility operators must: 

  • Respond to request for locate within two days
  • Mark locatable facilities within the public right-of-way and marked excavation area
  • Provide information about the presence of unlocatable facilities

If you are a government entity

Contact the pipeline company of the scheduled commencement of work when planning construction or excavation within 100 feet, or greater distance if required by local ordinance, of right-of-way or utility easement containing a transmission pipeline.

If you are a permit issuer

If you are a permit issuer under RCW 19.27, notify the pipeline company of the permitted activity when issuing a permit for construction or excavation within 100 feet, or greater distance if required by local ordinance, of right-of-way or utility easement of a transmission pipeline; or

Require, as a condition of issuing the permit, the applicant consult with the pipeline company.

Image
Prevent utility service interruptions by calling 811.

2019 Dig Law Facilitation Workgroup Materials