KHQ.COM - 811 Month is April, and Avista is reminding all of its customers to know what's below and call 811 before they dig. It's crazy to think, but many gas and electric lines can run just inches from the surface of our lawn making them too easy to hit.
With the spring gardening season approaching quickly (especially with the awesome weather we've been having J), it's important to remind residents in Spokane to call before they dig.
Washington State Law actually requires citizens to call 811 at least two business days prior to digging, including any digging more than 12 inches in a residential yard or garden. A utility representative will then come out and perform a "locate," which essentially means they will locate and mark where lines are in the ground.
To enforce this law, a new law has been put in place for 2013 that increases penalties from $1,000 per violation to $1,000 for an initial violation and up to $5,000 for subsequent violations within a three-year period. A party that fails to request a locate, and damages a hazardous liquid or gas transmission pipeline will be subject to a $10,000 penalty and may be found guilty of a misdemeanor.
Requesting a locate couldn't be simpler though! Residents can either dial 8-1-1 on their phone or go online. Both the call and service of locating lines in the ground are free.