Call 811 Before You Dig in Washinigton, Idaho, or Oregon
Did you know: Something as simple as planting shrubs, installing a fence, mailbox post, or sprinkler system can create a dangerous situation. State law requires you to call at least two business days before you start digging. Calling 811 will initiate a request for someone to visit your work site to mark the ground above utility lines. This way, you won't accidentally hit a line while you're digging.
What you need to know before you dig
Calling 811 will initiate a request for someone to visit your work site to mark the ground above utility lines.
Call 811 at least two business days before you start digging. It's the law.
Something as simple as planting shrubs requires an 811 call.
If you expose or damage gas or electric lines, stop work and call us immediately at (800) 227-9187.
Here's what else you need to know:
- Mark the dig area with white paint or stakes for the locator.
- Once located, don't move or alter the marks until the lines are exposed.
- Note the length of time markers remain valid. It varies by state.
- Only use hand tools to expose the utility line when digging within two feet of the marked area.
- Support exposed gas pipelines with secure nylon straps, wood shoring, and ropes so they don't break or rupture.
- Use sand or rock-free dirt as backfill.
- Property owners can call 811 requesting private locates for any non-utility owned facilities (such as underground power or gas lines to an outbuilding).
- If you expose gas or electric lines that haven't been marked, or damage a line, stop excavating and call us immediately at (800) 227-9187. We need to inspect the lines even if gas isn't leaking.
- If you're building, never build decks or structures over our pipelines or meters. Doing so runs a safety risk, and prevents us from servicing the infrastructure. We may be able to relocate our equipment to accommodate your project, but you could be responsible for the associated costs. Call us at (800) 227-9187 to learn more.
Know what's below
Use this color coded chart to keep track of what type of utility line might be on the property.
|Utility line color coding
The color of the paint, stake or other marker indicates what's below:
||Temporary Survey Markings|
||Gas / Oil|
||Communications / Cable TV|
Please review current dig laws for your state