Know what's below, before you dig

FILE Photo

Before you do any digging on your property more than 12 inches deep, you must call 811. It’s the law.

“Any time you're putting in a mailbox, lamppost or anything like that deeper than 12 inches, we need you to communicate with 811,” said Don Evans, executive administrator of Washington's 811 program.

It’s important to call because you need to know what's below. Buried utilities can include electricity, water, sewer, telephone, cable TV and natural gas.

You're required to make the call to 8 11 at least two business days before you start digging. Make that call and here's what will happen.

"The utilities that have buried lines in your area will come out and mark the lines they own coming into your property. Usually, that ends at the meter, wherever they start billing you,” Evans told me.

Without making that call to 811, you could damage an underground utility line. You could get hurt or disrupt service to you and your neighbors.

You could also be fined – up to $1,000 per occurrence –plus be held liable for the damage you caused.

More Info: Washington 811

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