There’s a simple way to stay safe when digging — just dial three digits three days ahead. On 811 Day, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS), Green Bay Water and the Green Bay Metro Fire Department are teaming up to remind everyone to contact 811 at least three days before digging.

Easy call for every dig, every time

Every digging project — from planting a tree to professional road construction work — needs to start by contacting 811. This one easy call notifies underground utility operators like WPS and Green Bay Water about where someone plans to dig. WPS, Green Bay Water and other utility operators will then visit the digging area for free to mark the location of underground equipment, such as electric, natural gas and water lines, to help everyone stay safe.


Consequences of not calling 811

Entire neighborhoods can be affected if someone digs without contacting 811. Last year, WPS responded to more than 40 incidents in which underground lines were damaged because someone didn’t call 811 before digging. Incidents like these can lead to service interruptions, costly repairs and serious injuries.

Unsafe digging will affect homes and businesses across the country this year. A nationwide survey this spring found that 4 in 10 U.S. homeowners — more than 49 million people — won’t call 811 before digging, putting themselves and their communities at risk.

One call makes a difference

811 Day is an annual initiative that highlights the importance of calling 811 before starting any work that involves digging. Contacting 811 is easy and extremely effective. Requests can be made by calling 811 or online through Diggers Hotline, Wisconsin’s free notification service.

Research has shown that if someone contacts 811 before digging, they have a 99% chance of avoiding damage to underground utilities. Along with calling 811, stay safe by only hand digging within 18 inches of marked lines.