OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Governor Christine Gregoire recently declared May "Washington Utility Damage Prevention Month" in an effort to remind people to call 8-1-1 before digging for home projects.
By law, homeowners are required to schedule a utility-check two days in advance whenever they're planning to dig a hole deeper than 12 inches. That means you should make the call even for small projects like planting a tree. Electric lines and gas pipes can sometimes be installed close to the ground surface.
In 2007, nearly 2,800 incident reports were filed statewide involving people who dug into a gas line.
After you call 811, a utility worker will identify the location of utilities with color-coded flags. The service if free and so is the call to 811.