Neglect one simple step and you could dig yourself into deep trouble. So “call before you dig.” It’s the law. This one simple step can prevent damage, service disruptions, and potential disaster from uncharted digging into buried service facilities. It’s the law for all of us: contractors, excavators, and homeowners.
Each utility sends employees to locate underground lines near the project with color-coded paint that identifies what kind of utility is underground. Failure to call and receive necessary guidance can prove messy at the very least, disrupt essential services, and may be downright hazardous. Everyone, including homeowners, must call when planning to dig. Neighborhoods, especially new ones, have extensive utility lines crisscrossing under their yards.
Here’s what happens next after you call to have underground utilities located.
- A utility locator comes out to your home or business.
- The contractor locates natural gas and utility lines on your property—for free.
- The contractor uses visual markers to identify the lines so you know where it’s safe to dig, and areas you should avoid.
Each state or province in our region has its own convenient number for its location service:
Oregon law created a statewide, one-call service – (800) 332-2344 or simply 811. For more information, you can also visit online www.callbeforeyoudig.org/oregon/.
In Washington, you can call (800) 424-5555 or 811. For additional online information, visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org/washington/.
Idaho has established it’s Digline service which you can reach at (800) 342-1585 or 811, with a Digline website www.digline.com.
British Columbia has its own easy-to-use “BC 1 Call” service at (800) 474-6886 or visit the website at www.bc1c.ca.
Finally, once the utilities have been to your home or business and marked any underground utility lines – RESPECT THE MARKS. Don’t dig within 12-inches of the markings. Also, below is a handy chart for understanding what the different colored markings identify: