It’s an easy call to make, and it helps keep communities safe. Today on Aug. 11 (8/11), 811 Day, We Energies and its newest safe digging “ambassadog,” Ruby, are reminding everyone to call 811 at least three days before digging. Keep an eye out for Ruby across southeast Wisconsin today as part of a one-day billboard blitz.
From home gardeners to professional construction workers, anyone planning to dig must contact 811. That one call helps keep communities safe by allowing We Energies and other utility operators to mark the location of underground equipment, including electric and natural gas lines, for free.
Consequences of not contacting 811
Digging without contacting 811 can impact entire neighborhoods. Last year, We Energies was called out to more than 600 reports of damage to its underground equipment. Incidents like these can lead to service interruptions, costly repairs and serious injuries.
The statistics across the country are even more concerning. A recent nationwide survey found that 49% of U.S. homeowners — a total of 34.9 million people — won’t call 811 before digging, putting themselves and their communities at risk.
One call makes a difference
811 Day is an annual initiative designed to emphasize the importance of calling 811 before starting any work that involves digging. It’s easy and extremely effective. Research has shown that if someone contacts 811 before digging, they have a 99% chance of avoiding damage to underground utilities.