OLYMPIA, WA - The Utilities and Transportation Commission uses the August 11th date to remind people 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 2016, there were 2,509 reports of damages to underground utilities in Washington. Damage can be prevented 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, 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 email@example.com.
Visit www.utc.wa.gov/callbeforeyoudig 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.