April 2016, Vol. 71 No. 4

Web Exclusive

Northwest Gas Association to Contractors and Homeowners: Call 811 Before Digging

The Northwest Gas Association urges contractors and homeowners to “know what’s below” by calling 811 before digging. Idaho, Oregon and Washington law requires anyone who plans to dig more than 12 inches deep for any reason to call and notify 811 at least two business days prior to digging. Calling 811 is free and will result in underground utilities being located and marked with paint at no cost to the home or business owner.

There are more than 100 billion feet of underground utilities in the United States, according to data compiled by the Common Ground Alliance. These cables, lines, and pipes are essential in the operation of the utilities that we rely on every day for so many things we take for granted. Unfortunately, an underground pipeline or utility line is damaged once every six minutes by a digging project in the U.S., according to the Interstate Natural Gas Pipeline Association of America. These incidents are not only dangerous; they are costly and can result in a service disruption for entire neighborhoods.

In addition to the safety concerns that accompany digging without proper notification, anyone who strikes a utility line as a result of failure to notify 811 can be subject to significant fines and/or financial responsibility for repairs.

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