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Call Before You Dig

Call Before You Dig

For safety's sake, it's against state law to dig a hole more than one foot deep without notifying utility companies (CALL: 811) at least two days in advance.

Really. It’s right there in the “Revised Code of Washington, 19.122”.

Call 811 Before You DigOK, why does this program exist? It protects you from being injured if you hit an underground power line, and protects your neighbors from losing power.

In a nutshell, you need to contact the Utilities Underground Locate Center at least two working days before you plan to start digging. They have a toll free number to make it easy: 1-800-424-5555.

When you call, make sure you’re ready to tell them what you’re going to do, the location of your project, and your contact information.

Hitting Underground Power Lines Can Be Shockingly Expensive

Imagine this: you’re digging and hit underground utilities. Your work causes damage.

At the very least, you could be responsible for paying the cost of fixing things. If you were digging without calling for someone to come locate the utilities damages could be triple!

You should contact us as soon as possible if you hit an underground power line while digging.

If you will be digging a trench, be sure to check out our trenching specs and requirements.

Here’s the Legal Stuff

The Revised Code of Washington, 19.122, requires that persons contact the Utilities Underground Locate Center (1-800-424-5555) two working days (48 hours) in advance of excavation on PUD 3's property or public agency right-of-way. The law defines excavation as: "…any operation in which earth, rock or other material on or below the ground is moved or otherwise displaced by any means, except the tilling of soil less than 12 inches in depth for agricultural purposes, or road and ditch maintenance that does not change the original road grade or ditch flow line."

811 Dog

Locating Private Facilities is Still Required

Remember, PUD 3 customers own their own underground service wire, and therefore they are responsible for marking its location. Private utility locators perform work in Mason County if you're not feeling up to it. Other private facilities that must be located before digging include:

  • Customer owned underground secondary/service wires

  • Sprinkler or irrigation systems

  • Septic systems and leach fields

  • Sewer lines

  • Water system, including well water pipes

  • Well pump wires

  • Wires running to an outbuilding such as a garage, shop, or shed

  • Gas or propane lines

  • Communication wires (cable, phone, CAT5, etc.)

  • Outdoor lighting wires

  • Low voltage wires

  • Compressed air lines

  • Alarm systems

  • Garbage or disposal sites

  • Covered building foundations, pavement, etc.

  • Any other possible facilities that are not visible above ground.

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