With Memorial Day marking the start of summertime outdoor projects, such as building a new fence or deck, planting trees and shrubs, or even pulling out a tree stump, Puget Sound Energy is asking homeowners and excavators to contact the 811 “call before you dig” hotline.
To avoid potential hazards with striking or digging up underground utility lines, all utilities must be marked before the start of digging. Washington state law requires homeowners and their contractors to call 811 at least two business days before digging depths of 12 inches or more to prevent serious injuries or costly property damage. (Any digging on commercial property or in the right-of-way, regardless of depth, requires a call.)
After the call is made, a utility representative will mark the location of the underground lines at no charge.
In 2007, there were more than 1,800 accidental excavator and homeowner dig ups – approximately five per day throughout the year – to PSE’s 24,000 miles of underground natural gas lines and 9,500 miles of buried power lines.
PSE advises anyone who may have damaged natural gas pipes or electric systems, or who smells the odor of natural gas, to take these steps:
* Quickly move a safe distance from the damaged line.
* Call 911 after you’re at a safe distance.
* Report the damage to Puget Sound Energy at 1-888-225-5773.
For more information about the call before you dig law, visit www.callbeforeyoudig.org.