Don't dig into trouble - call 811 first

Don't dig into trouble - call 811 first

Hitting a gas or electric line buried under your property can be extremely dangerous. That's why you are required – by law – to call before you dig a hole to plant a tree, install a fence or put in a lamppost.

"The law requires that if you're doing any kind of digging, especially more than 12-inches, to call 811 and get a free utility locate," explained Anna Gill with the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission.

You need to plan ahead because the law requires you to contact 811 at least two business days before you're going to dig. And the day you call, doesn't count.

"We like to tell people that if you plan to dig on the weekend, to call by Wednesday, so that the utilities have enough time to come out to your property," Gill said.

Remember, if you dig and hit a utility line and didn't call 811 it can be costly. Iin addition to any damage costs, you could be found in violation of the law which poses a penalty of up to $5,000 per violation.

By the way, the Call Before You Dig law applies to both contractors and homeowners.

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