GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and the Green Bay Metro Fire Department are sharing some crucial safety tips on 8-1-1 Day.

August 11, or 8/11, is a day when local officials remind the community to contact 8-1-1, the Diggers Hotline, at least three days before digging.

A recent nationwide survey found that 49% of U.S. homeowners won’t call 811 before digging this year. By not calling, they’ll put themselves and their communities at risk for service interruptions, costly repairs, and serious injury.

“Calling 8-1-1 is the very first step that you should take if you are planning to do a project that involves digging,” said Matt Cullen, Media Relations with WPS. “Whether you’re planting in your garden, or you’re putting in a mailbox at your home, all the way up to professionals who are doing large construction projects, calling 8-1-1 is always a great first step to take.”

By calling 8-1-1, local utility crews can come to the property and mark locations where you cannot dig. Several pipes run underneath such as gas lines and water lines, and digging into those can cause serious disruptions or even injury.

“If you’re at your home they’ll come out and mark your electric, your natural gas, even your water, your telecommunication lines, those operators will come out and mark those lines and it’s at no charge,” explained Cullen.

According to WPS, research has shown that if someone calls 8-1-1, they’ll have a 99% chance of avoiding any damage to underground lines.

“Last year we had nearly 60 incidents in which underground lines of ours were damaged because someone did not call 8-1-1 before they began to dig,” added Cullen. “That’s something that’s become fairly consistent over the past few years.

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Before calling 8-1-1, those interested in digging will need to know the address of where you plan to dig, including the county and nearest cross street, as well as the type of project you’re completing and the exact area on the property where you’re planning to dig.

For more information about the Wisconsin Diggers Hotline, you can visit its website here.