Digging into utility lines could cost you big

April is Safe Digging month here in Washington State, a good time to remind you that before you dig, you need to dial 811 to make sure you don't hit an underground utility.

"Hitting a gas or electric line can be dangerous," says Anna Gill with the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission

Gill says hitting a utility line can also be costly.

"For example, fiber optic lines can sometimes cost thousands of dollars to repair. And if you damage a line and didn't call, you can be liable for up to three times the cost of the actual repair."

You need to call 811 at least two business days before you start any significant outdoor digging, such as planting a large tree, installing a mailbox or building a fence. It's the law.

There's something new this year. Before you pick up the phone, you're supposed to outline the dig area with white paint. That's to make sure the crews that come out to mark the utility lines know exactly where you're going to dig.

By the way, the Call Before You Dig law applies to both contractors and homeowners.

For more information

Dont Dig into Trouble