As the ground starts to thaw and homeowners and contractors start long-awaited outside projects, Alliant Energy is reminding customers to call 811 before digging. This is a free service, and it is the law.
Each year, Alliant Energy responds to hundreds of accidents where either a contractor, a farmers or a homeowner dug into a buried natural gas or electric line. Often these hits happen when installing fence posts, trenching in a field, planting trees, digging a foundation, working on sidewalks or driveways, and other landscaping work. These accidents are dangerous and costly. People who hit lines can put themselves and entire neighborhoods in danger, and face criminal fines.
Alliant Energy offers a free service to avoid these accidents. Anyone who plans on digging or landscaping must call 811 at least two days before they dig. When you call 811, contractors will locate buried lines and mark them above ground so someone can safely dig around them.
Making the call before you dig is important
"Safety for both our customers and employees is a top priority at Alliant Energy," says Richard Sublett, senior manager of compliance and operational performance. "We hope customers see this message and remember the importance of calling 811. Making the call is more than a smart idea, it's the law."
By calling 811 your local One Call Center will contact all utilities with assets near you, including gas, electric, cable, internet, water, and others. If you live near the state-border, call the direct line to avoid confusion. In Iowa: Iowa One-Call is 1-800-292-8989; in Illinois it's JULIE, 1-800-892-0123.
When digging, stay at least 18 inches away from the marks, he advises. If you make contact with a buried line, call 811 to report the damage. Don't cover up the damage, because it could eventually become a hazard. Reported damage is repaired by Alliant Energy so buried lines stay safe.
For more information about 811, visit alliantenergy.com/call811. To learn more about Alliant Energy's work to protect its pipelines, call 1-800-257-3645, or visit alliantenergy.com/pipelinesafety.