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Remember to call 811 before every digging project
Rock Energy Cooperative has a reminder for eager homeowners and contractors getting ready to start those springtime digging projects.
Before you reach for that shovel to start digging, remember to call 811, the national call-before-you-dig number, to ensure that buried utility lines in the vicinity are marked.
The Common Ground Alliance and its 1,400 members, including Rock Energy, recognize April as National Safe Digging Month. The special month was designated to remind people that the land is made up of a complex underground infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables.
A call must be placed to 811 before every digging project, from simple landscaping projects like planting trees or shrubs to building a deck or installing a mailbox. Wisconsin law requires that the call be made three business days before the start of the project, while Illinois law specifies two business days.
After you call 811, utility companies servicing the area will send a professional locator to the proposed area to mark any buried lines with flags: red for electric; yellow, gas or petroleum; orange, communications; blue or purple, water; and green, sewer or drainage.
A total of 165,000 underground utilities are damaged annually across the nation, and one out of every three incidents is the result of not calling 811. Striking an underground utility line while digging can cause harm to you or those around you, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially result in fines and repair costs.