Media Contact: Nancy Craig (319) 786-4788
Recent survey reveals that do-it-yourself projects remain strong throughout 2009
MADISON, WI – August 6, 2009 – With August 11 almost here, Wisconsin Power and Light, an Alliant Energy company, hopes this date on the calendar, 8/11, will serve as a natural reminder for residents to call 811 prior to any digging project to have underground utility lines marked. This comes on the heels of a recent survey by The National Gardening Association which found that 68 percent of households anticipate their do-it-yourself lawn and garden projects will remain the same in 2009 despite the recession.
When calling 811, homeowners are connected to Diggers Hotline, the local one-call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint.
Additionally, with August 11 falling on a Tuesday, anyone planning to dig on the weekend of August 15-16 should call 811 during the first half of the week. Diggers Hotline requires a call three working days before the planned project start date.
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, putting in a fence, building a deck and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting.
“On August 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Rosanne Rogers, Gas Compliance and Operations Support Manager. “Failure to call before digging results in more than 250,000 unintentional hits annually, and we do not want anyone’s project to become part of the statistic.”
The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and over 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company’s primary focus. Wisconsin Power and Light, the company’s Wisconsin utility subsidiary, serves approximately 450,000 electric and 175,000 natural gas customers. Alliant Energy, headquartered in Madison, Wis., is a Fortune 1000 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNT. For more information, visit the company’s Web site at http://www.alliantenergy.com.