Emergency? Call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268)

Call Before You Dig / 811

Stay safe! Call 811 before you dig

One easy phone call to 811 instantly begins the process of getting underground electric and gas utility lines on your property marked. When you call 811, the appropriate utility companies are notified. They send crews out to mark the underground lines within three days. This service is free of charge.


The dangers are real

Know what's below. Call 811 before you dig.

A damaged gas pipeline or service to a house may create an explosion hazard resulting in injury and death, severe property damage and loss of vital services. If you are planning a project that involves digging, trenching, drilling, grading or excavating:
  1. Call before you dig
  2. Wait the required time
  3. Respect the marks
  4. Conduct a site survey
  5. Have an emergency plan
  6. Dig with care
When you start digging, try to stay at least 24 inches away from the marked lines (distance requirements vary by state, so ask for guidelines when you call 811). If you're planting a tree, remember to consider the length of the roots as the tree matures, and don't plant trees near power lines.

If you hit, touch, scrape or damage an underground pipeline or electric cable, call Alliant Energy at 1-800-257-3645 or your local utility immediately. If gas is blowing, call 911.

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The color indicates each utility

Underground utility lines will be marked with flags or paint to show approximate location.Flag


Proposed Excavation


Temporary Survey Markings


Electric lines, Conduit and Lighting Cables


Gas, Oil, Steam, Petroleum or Gaseous Materials


Communication, Alarm or Signal Lines


Potable Water


Reclaimed Water, Irrigation and Slurry Lines


Sewers and Drain Lines

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Farm safety

Digging guidelines for farmers include a special 15-inch rule for determining whether 811 should be notified.

Call before excavations 15 inches or deeper, including:

  • Chisel plowing
  • SubsoilingFarm safety while digging - Alliant Energy
  • Ripping
  • Drain tile excavating
  • Terracing
  • Waterway projects
  • Digging or driving a new fence post
  • Any project penetrating soil 15 inches or more

Normal farm operations don't require a call, including:

  • Plowing (penetrating less than 15 inches)
  • Cultivating (penetrating less than 15 inches)
  • Planting
  • Harvesting
  • Replacing a fence post in its existing location
  • Normal field activities penetrating soil less than 15 inches

Download farm safety brochure [PDF]

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More online resources

Here are some useful Web sites to find more information about pipelines:

You can still contact your state's Local One Call Center:

Stop - Think Safe...Call 811 before you dig.

Watch Alliant Energy's Call 811 television ad.

Watch the Call 811 public service announcement that urges homeowners and excavators to avoid a 'Grimm' situation.

Watch the story of a farmer who thought he was staying away from a petroleum pipeline while field tiling.