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While Technical Safety BC offices are temporarily closed, we are continuing to provide services via email at contact@technicalsafetybc.ca and perform safety critical assessments and incident investigations. More information here.

Safe Digging

Safe Digging

Each year in British Columbia there are hundreds of incidents where buried utilities are damaged by homeowners or contractors who are excavating or digging. This puts people at risk, causes traffic and service interruptions, and often requires costly repairs. The good news? Most of these incidents can be easily avoided with a bit of advance planning.

What items are buried?

The following infrastructure may be buried below ground and could be disturbed by digging or excavating:

  • Telecommunication cables
  • Electricity wires
  • Natural gas lines
  • Watermains
  • Sewer lines.

When should I check for buried utilities?

Check for buried utilities and gas lines before you:

  • Uproot trees or shrubs
  • Put in/take out fence posts
  • Build a deck or fish pond
  • Work on retaining walls
  • Landscape, dig or excavate
  • Plant anything more than a few inches below the surface of the ground -- this may include digging deep holes for trees and shrubs. 

How do I check for buried infrastructure?

BC 1 Call is the link between the excavating community and the owners of underground facilities. Before you dig, schedule a locate request online at www.bc1c.ca, by phone at 1 800 474 6886 or by dialing *6886 from a cell phone. You can also visit https://onecall.beforeyoudigpartners.com/ to place your inquiry online. This free service is available 24/7 service 365 days a year. Requests should be made a minimum of three full business days before the planned excavation.