Before You Dig

Call before you dig!

If you plan to dig more than 12 inches deep, call 811! You can find out what's buried, for free, before you:

  • Install a fence
  • Build a deck
  • Plant trees
  • Build a shed
  • Dig a well or septic tank
  • Install sprinkler systems
  • Install private utilities to a shop, barn, garage, greenhouse, etc.

Make sure to call 811 at least 48 hours before you plan to dig. The center will then notify agencies with utilities in your area to mark their lines.

Why do I need to call before I dig?

Requesting a locate is free, but not requesting one can be expensive and dangerous. Locating utility lines buried underground can help you dig around them safely and help prevent personal injury, property damage, interrupted service and monetary liabilities that can result from a line being hit. It is also the law. RCW 19.122.030 states you must call before you dig.

What are those paint markings in front of my house?

Different colors (PDF) of paint are sprayed onto the ground to identify types and locations of underground utilities prior to excavation in the area. If you find locate markings on your property, or in the area, and want to inquire who requested them or what project will be done, please contact 811.

Once marked, the requester is responsible for maintaining the marks.

For more information, visit the Washington 811 Website.