Road Services - Surveying boundaries and locating underground utilities
Who is doing survey work on my road?
Most typically, the work that is being done is to locate underground utility lines rather than a land survey for locating property lines and other boundaries. To the general public, however, it looks like land survey work. A survey to locate road right-of-way for road maintenance or construction projects or for sale or development of private property are only two possible reasons for the spray painted lines on your street and sidewalk. More often the lines are the results of requests by agencies and individuals to have underground utilities located. If you happen to see the survey work being done and are curious about why, go up to the surveyors/utility locators and politely ask them. In most cases, you should get a polite reply. The King County Road Services Division does its own survey work. Our staff are always willing to tell you what they are surveying for. To find out more about what land surveying, check the Land Surveyor's Association of Washington Web site.
Since it is most likely that the work is for locating underground utilities, you will have the best success by contacting the One-Call Utilities Locate Center at 1-800-424-5555. You will need to provide them with the day the work was done, an address, a cross street, city, county and state (state is obvious to us, but this center serves a large geographic area).
What do those paint markings mean?
You may notice that the paint markings are often different colors. This is not because those are the colors of the spray cans that someone happened to pull out of a box. The colors have specific meaning.
||COMMUNICATION - CATV |
||TEMPORARY SURVEY MARKINGS |
||PROPOSED EXCAVATION |
What is the Call-Before-You-Dig Program and who needs to call?
Call-Before-You-Dig is part of a national program that seeks to avoid the results of accidentally hitting utility pipes during excavation. These accidents are always costly and can result in serious injuries or death. It doesn't make any difference whether you are a contractor or an individual, call before you dig. It doesn't cost you anything to have someone come out an mark your lines, but it will cost you if you don't have the lines marked and you damage one. If you hire a contractor for work which involves digging, be sure that the contractor has called the Utilities Locate Center.The call-before-you-dig law is found under Chapter 19.122 RCW Underground Utilities.
Do surveyors have any special rights to access private property?
Surveyors/utility locators can be on road rights-of-way (both maintained and unmaintained), but they need permission for right of entry onto private property except where an easement allows such access. Since the right-of-way lines are not marked, property owners are often unclear about where right-of-way lines are. Often years of maintaining the right-of-way blurs the memory. Property owners may also be unclear about easements or the terms of easements on their property. If you think that someone has seriously trespassed on your property, identify who did the survey/utility location work and make your concerns known.
How can I get King County to survey my property? If not, can you recommend someone?
King County cannot conduct surveys for private property owners. We also cannot recommend specific surveyors to you. Check the yellow pages or contact your attorney or local real estate office. It always helps to know more about the service you are seeking. A useful on-line source is the Land Surveyor's Association of Washington Web site.
Information from the Road Services Division's website is available to people with disabilities in alternate formats upon request by calling 206-263-6482 or 711 for the TTY relay service.
= External link