For Release: 05/24/2011
Green Bay, WI - As Memorial Day weekend approaches, many homeowners will once again be beautifying their yards and neighborhoods by planting trees, shrubs and flowers. Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) reminds everyone to call 8-1-1 BEFORE any digging projects are done. The "8-1-1 Diggers Hotline" is a coordinated nationwide underground utility location system that is set up for everyone's safety.
There is a complex network and infrastructure of pipelines, wires and cables running underground in communities. Most customers are aware of the "8-1-1" system, but do not think it applies to them unless they are using some larger power digging equipment. The unfortunate result may be serious injuries to the person digging and disruption of utility service to entire neighborhoods. The locate process involves calling the "8-1-1" Diggers Hotline system and answering a few questions about your location and project. Locating specialists will respond and do 'the locate' on your property within a few working days.
These digging projects include everything from planting trees or shrubs to building a deck to simply installing a roadside mailbox.
WPS has about 7,800 miles of underground natural gas pipelines and nearly 6,000 miles of underground primary and secondary electrical lines in the 19 counties of northeastern and north central Wisconsin and a small portion of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Nationwide, there are more than 200,000 unintentional digger's hits on underground utility facilities each year. Utility records indicate a very high percentage of accidental dig-ins result from people not calling "8-1-1."
For larger excavating contractors, utilities and the "8-1-1" system offer a number of annual safety meetings and invite anyone associated with commercial digging to attend.