A springtime reminder from SnoPUD: Plant smart, be safe

With the arrival of spring, it’s time for many of us to get outside and start tackling outdoor projects. Safety is Snohomish County PUD’s No. 1 priority for its employees and customers and that includes time spent out in the yard planting trees or bushes.

To avoid getting limbs or trees caught in power lines, the PUD advises customers not to plant large, tall trees near overhead power lines. If the ideal planting spot is under power lines, it’s best to plant smaller deciduous shrubs or fruit trees that reach a maximum height of 25 feet. The PUD also advises customers to keep bushes at least 3 feet from padmount transformers, the large green boxes that house important electrical equipment.

For more information, check out the PUD’s Tree Book, a tree selection guide for planting near power lines, available at www.snopud.com/trees.

To prevent accidentally hitting an underground utility line when digging, the PUD reminds customers to use the “Call before you dig” hotline at 811. Customers are advised to call at least two working before starting a digging project of more than 12 inches deep, including landscaping, remodeling and fencing.

The “Call before you dig” 811 hot-line is a free service. Hotline staff will work to provide the locations of lines that serve power, gas, water, sewer and/or telephone utilities located along the right of way of a resident’s property.

The PUD owns and maintains underground services on private property for residential single-family homes and will mark lines up to customers’ meters. Apartment buildings, schools and mobile home parks may need to retain a private locator, depending on meter locations. Private locators are available to provide this service for a fee.

Severed utility cables or water lines not only inconvenience people, they are expensive to repair. If you dig in and interrupt power or water service, it is restored at your cost.

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