Before you start to dig a hole
on your property (plant a tree, build a fence, put up a mailbox post, or dig more than 12” deep in a yard or garden), call 811 (or 1-800-424-5555 in Spokane County) two business days ahead of digging.
A utility employee
trained in locating underground electric, gas, water, phone, cable or sewer lines will be dispatched to your property within 48 hours, to determine if there are any utility lines located in that spot. He will paint colored lines on the ground to indicate where buried cables are located.
When digging near the lines,
stop about 2’ from the line and continue digging carefully with a hand tool. Buried electrical lines or natural gas pipes can be dangerously close to the surface. Accidental contact with a shovel or backhoe is risky and potentially fatal. Although some lines are buried 3’ deep, some lines, like telecommunications, are notorious for having very shallow buries, sometimes only a few inches. If you happen to hit a cable, call 811, and they will come and check it out. If a locate service is late, incomplete or inaccurate, call the UTC Consumer Help Line at (888) 333-9882.
Fines are issued
to homeowners/landscapers/excavators for failing to use location services and for damaging lines:
$ 1,000 Initial violation
$ 5,000 Subsequent violations within a 3-year period.
$10,000 Damage to a hazardous liquid or gas transmission pipeline (plus a misdemeanor charge)
This service is FREE
to residential homeowners, while contractors pay a fee.
Citizens are required by Washington State law
to make this call, which can save potential serious injuries, outages, and thousands of dollars in repairs to expensive underground equipment.