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Call Diggers Hotline Before You Dig

If you plan on doing any digging on a piece of property this year, contact Digger's Hotline to have underground utilities located before you start your project.

Digger's Hotline is a not-for-profit company that assists utilities and utility customers find the location of buried utility equipment that may interfere with an excavation project. Digger's Hotline contacts the owners of the underground facilities to have the buried equipment located. The utilities will then have the buried equipment marked with paint and/or flags to identify the location. There is no fee to use the Digger's Hotline service.

Wisconsin law requires that you contact Digger's Hotline, either by phone or through their on-line service, three working days before the soil is to be disturbed. If you opt not to contact Digger's Hotline and buried utility equipment is damaged you will be held financially responsible for the damages. You can also be fined up to $2,000 for failure to use the service.

The Digger's Hotline call center is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The busiest times to call is typically on Monday or Tuesday mornings. The call center operator will ask you several questions about the nature of the work to be completed. Some questions may not apply to you, but all questions need to be asked of all callers.

To ensure that your call is handled quickly and efficiently, have the following information ready when you contact Digger's Hotline:

  • Specify if you are a homeowner or business owner and give your name, telephone number and address.
  • Specify if you are doing the work yourself or for another party.
  • Provide information as to the city, township, village, or unincorporated area where the digging will take place.
  • Provide the street address of the work site.
  • Provide the nearest intersecting road and the distance to that road.
  • What type of work will be done (i.e. planting a tree, installing a fence, building a deck, or building an addition).
  • Inform the operator if explosives, boring equipment, or equipment that reaches 14' into the air or higher will be used.
  • The date you plan to start your work.
  • Provide a description of the area you would like to have marked for underground facilities on the property. As an example, "a 20' radius of the tree in the back yard".

After you have provided the operator with all of the pertinent information, you will be given a ticket number. Keep the ticket number as it is your legal proof that you have called Digger's Hotline and complied with the state law. You have 10 calendar days from your project's start date and time to begin your work. Contacting Digger's Hotline does not get any private facilities marked. These facilities include the electric line from your house to a detached garage or shed, underground sprinkler systems, or security systems.

The following colors are used to identify the respective utilities:

  • Red represents electric lines.
  • Yellow represents natural gas lines.
  • Orange represents communications cable.
  • Blue represents water lines.
  • Green represents sewer lines.
  • White represents proposed excavation lines.

After the utilities have been marked, you may begin your project. You can not excavate with power tools within 18 inches of the markings. If you need to dig closer to the marks, only hand tools can be used, and then proceed with caution! If you expose an underground facility, it is your responsibility to inspect it before backfilling. If any damage is discovered or suspected, you are required to notify the affected utility immediately.

If you have any questions, contact your local utility or Digger's Hotline. We hope your project is safe and successful!