Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) reminds everyone on Aug. 11, or 8/11, to call 8-1-1 before attempting any projects that require digging. Calling the “8-1-1 Diggers Hotline” should be the homeowner and contractor’s first step before putting a shovel in the ground to plant trees, shrubs and flowers or working on any digging projects in the yard. This also includes installing a roadside mailbox or digging postholes for a deck.
Those WPS customers in Michigan should contact “8-1-1 Miss Dig Hotline” before all digging projects.
Knowing where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect those who dig from injury, expense and ensures the reliability of the utility system. The 8-1-1 Diggers Hotline network is a coordinated nationwide underground utility location system that is set up for everyone’s safety.
WPS has nearly 7,800 miles of underground natural gas pipelines and 6,000 miles of underground electrical lines in the 19 counties of northeastern and north central Wisconsin and a small portion of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
WPS also advises to “look up” when working in the yard. Overhead power lines carry a lot of electricity and can be dangerous if contacted. WPS advises to stay a safe distance whenever doing home improvement projects that might be near power lines.
WPS records indicate a very high percentage of accidental dig-ins result from people not calling “8-1-1” before they dig. Most customers are aware of the “8-1-1” system, but do not think it applies unless they are using some larger power digging equipment. The unfortunate result may be serious injuries and disruption of utility service to entire neighborhoods.
To request a locate, either call the 8-1-1 Diggers Hotline or log on to diggershotline.com. In Michigan, log on to the 8-1-1 Miss Dig Hotline at missdig.net. Customers will be asked a few questions about their location and project. Specialists using sophisticated equipment will respond to the site and mark the location of all buried facilities (natural gas, electric, cable, telecommunications) on your property within a few working days.
Additional safety information may be accessed at the company’s website, wisconsinpublicservice.com/home/safety.aspx