EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (News Release)-- Xcel Energy remains committed to the safety of our employees, customers and communities while ensuring reliable service for all our customers as we all adjust to life during these uncertain times. With a “Safer At Home” order in effect in Wisconsin, many of our customers may use this extra time at home for some do-it-yourself projects that involve digging in their yards. Xcel Energy wants to remind customers that April is National Safe Digging Month and that they should contact 8-1-1 to have underground utility lines marked before beginning any digging projects.
Damaging or striking a single line can create a dangerous situation, cause injury, or result in repair costs, fines and outages. In Wisconsin, homeowners and contractors should call 8-1-1 or submit an online request to Wisconsin One Call at least three business days in advance of a planned project to have underground utility lines marked in your digging location. Every digging project, large or small, warrants contacting 8-1-1. Installing a post for a mailbox, building a deck or planting a tree are all examples of projects that need utility lines marked before digging.
Wisconsin One Call will notify the appropriate utility companies of the caller’s intent to dig. At no charge, professional locators will mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, spray paint or both. When locators from Xcel Energy visit a location, they will be wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment and will have no need to interact with customers or enter their homes. Customers are also asked to please avoid approaching our employees and continue practicing social distancing.
Xcel Energy had 40 incidents last year in Wisconsin when buried gas and electric lines were damaged during excavation and not located beforehand.
Customers need to make arrangements with a private locate company to locate lines not owned by a utility, such as a line installed by a homeowner to heat a pool or light a garage.
For more information about 8-1-1 and safe digging practices visit Call 8-1-1 Before you Dig or Wisconsin One Call.