Alliant Energy encourages residents to call 811 before digging

One quick click or call can prevent catastrophe

MADISON, Wis. (April 7, 2022) – As homeowners begin to do more work outside, Alliant Energy encourages residents and contractors to call 811 before digging. 

April is National Safe Digging Month. It’s important to remember that a quick call to 811 prior to planting trees or shrubs, fencing your yard or building a playset can prevent a fine or a potentially dangerous accident with gas or electric lines. Although National Safe Digging Month is a great time to go over safety practices, safety is a year-round endeavor. 

Not only is calling 811 going to keep you safe; it’s the law. Call 811 a few days before you plan to dig, and a professional will visit your property free of charge to mark your yard for buried utility lines, ranging from natural gas to internet cables. 

“Everyone is excited to get outside and start working on their outdoor projects this time of year,” said Richard Sublett, senior manager of compliance and operational performance for Alliant Energy. “But not knowing what’s below the surface is a major hazard that should remind you to slow down.” 

After you call 811 to describe where and when you plan to dig, the call center will notify local utilities, such as Alliant Energy, to mark locations of buried lines with high-visibility paint or flags. Yellow paint or markings indicate buried natural gas lines, while red paint or markings identify any electric lines below the surface.  

When digging, it’s important to stay 18 inches away from the marked lines. Within 18 inches of the marked lines, you’ll need to proceed carefully with hand digging. 

Call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268) if your digging equipment or tools contact our natural gas pipelines or electric lines. Even minor damage, such as scratches or dents can result in pipeline failure, electrocution or a major incident. If incidents are not properly assessed, an explosion hazard can result in injury or death. 

Once notified, we will repair any damage to underground lines to allow buried lines to remain safe. 

“Safety is at the center of everything we do here at Alliant Energy,” Sublett said. “It’s important that our customers use the 811 service to make safety their priority too.” 

Visit for more information. 

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