MADISON – Gov. Tony Evers proclaimed April as Safe Digging Month, raising awareness of the simple measures Wisconsinites can take to keep their communities safe this digging season. The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) reminds residents and professional excavators to always contact the Diggers Hotline by phone at 8-1-1 or online at www.DiggersHotline.com before they dig.
“Safe digging is a responsibility we all share to protect our environment and keep our neighbors safe and connected,” said Gov. Evers. “As the ground thaws and digging projects pick back up, Safe Digging Month reminds folks of the proper precautions to take, whether you’re a homeowner installing a mailbox or professional excavator completing a major project. Calling 8-1-1 before digging can really make all the difference.”
The Diggers Hotline is a free, statewide one-call system that provides excavators and the general public the ability to inform multiple utility and telecommunications providers of planned excavation. The one-call center alerts the appropriate underground facility providers so they can dispatch locators to mark the approximate location of their lines with paint or flags, after which professionals and homeowners can dig safely around the marks.
Under state law, individuals are required to notify the Diggers Hotline at least three days before one excavates, grades, trenches, digs, drills, augurs, tunnels, scrapes, plows cable or pipes. Once the locations are marked, individuals must maintain an 18-inch buffer zone on each side of a marked facility and not use mechanized equipment within the buffer zone.
“I thank the utility and telecommunications providers who review digging requests expeditiously and thoroughly—our state is safer because of this work,” said PSC Chairperson Rebecca Cameron Valcq. “No matter how big or small a project is, a simple call to 8-1-1 can save lives.”
Violations of state law can be reported to the Diggers Hotline Enforcement Center. If probable cause is found, a panel of Diggers Hotline stakeholders will decide between education and referral to the PSC. If referred to the PSC, a PSC investigation will determine if there was a violation of the law and any subsequent legal action or fines.
More information can be found on the Diggers Hotline website at DiggersHotline.com.
The Governor’s proclamation can be found here.
An online version of this release is available here.