The boys had been dreaming big all winter long, waiting for the snow to melt and the ground to thaw so they could finally start working on the bike jumps they’d been talking about since before Christmas. Tyler’s family had the largest back yard, and, after a long winter of being cooped up in the house, his folks were happy to let the boys borrow a little space to build a couple of ramps. They gathered up shovels, a pick axe and a digging bar and got to work.
By the end of the first day the boys were tired, dirty and halfway through their project – it wouldn’t be long before they were catching air. But with the second swing of the axe the next day, their plans came to an abrupt halt. They’d severed a line that ran through the back yard and natural gas instantly started to blow from the ground. Tyler’s mom called Avista and crews were dispatched to repair the leak.
State law requires a call to 811 at least two working days before you start digging. Even simple projects like planting shrubs, building a backyard firepit, installing a fence or mailbox post require a call. Calling 811 initiates a request for someone to visit your work site to mark the ground above utility lines. This way, you’ll avoid a dangerous situation and avoid accidentally hitting a line while digging.
Property owners can call 811 to request private locates for any non-utility owned facilities, such as underground power or gas lines to an outbuilding.