What Should I Do Before I Dig?

There is an underground network of gas lines, electricity, telephone, internet and TV cable wires, as well as water and sewer connections that could be damaged if you dig in the wrong spot.

When it comes to underground utilities, the smallest incident can cause serious damage. Disturbing the ground in your backyard can be just as serious as ground disturbance at a construction site. Whether you’re planning to build a retaining wall, plant a tree or put in fence posts, remember to click or call before you dig to protect yourself, your family, neighbours and property.

Knowing what’s below protects you and your family.

Damaging underground services can have serious consequences such as:

  • Personal injury to you and others;
  • Loss of essential services, creating a safety risk for yourself and others; and,
  • Expensive restoration costs and potential legal action against you.

For your safety, and the safety of others, you must determine where the underground facilities are located BEFORE starting construction, landscaping or any other project.

BEFORE you dig…

  1. Clearly identify and white line the excavation area.
  2. Click bc1c.ca or Call BC 1 Call at 1.800.474.6886 at least three working days before you dig.
  3. Contact all utility, pipeline, property or infrastructure owners who are NOT BC 1 Call members.
  4. Visually inspect the work site for signs of underground infrastructure and other safety concerns.
  5. Obtain all agreements / permits and keep them on site.
  6. Verify location and expose underground utilities by hand digging or other approved non-mechanical excavation means.

When you are working near pipeline rights-of-way, or doing above ground work over or in proximity to pipelines and surface encroachments requires written approval from each facility owner.

Be aware of your regulatory responsibilities!