Why Call Diggers
• It's The Law. Wisconsin Statute 182.0175 requires all excavators — including homeowners and construction contractors — to call Diggers Hotline at least three working days before starting the work.
• Protect Yourself. If you don't call before you dig, you are putting yourself and your neighbors in danger. A shovel could easily cut through a buried underground electric line, and a damaged gas pipeline would put your entire neighborhood in jeopardy.
• Dig Now, Pay Later. If you dig without calling Diggers Hotline and you damage underground facilities, not only will you be financially responsible for the damage, but you could also be subject to a fine of up to $2,000.
Did You Know...?
Diggers Hotline does not locate underground facilities. Instead, we take calls from excavators, both homeowners and professionals, and then relay that information to the owners of underground facilities in that area. It is the responsibility of the underground facility owners to mark any buried lines they may have in your area.
Contacting Diggers Hotline
Plan ahead! Give Diggers Hotline a call at least three working days prior to the start date of your excavation. The call center is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, but the busiest times are Monday and Tuesday mornings.
A trained operator will answer your call and ask several questions about the nature of the work. Some of the questions may not apply to you, but all questions need to be asked of all callers.
Having this information ready will shorten the call and ensure accurate locate markings from Diggers Hotline members:
• Specify you are a homeowner and give your name, telephone number and address.
• Specify if you are doing the work for yourself or for someone else.
• Your name, telephone number and address.
• The city, township, village, or unincorporated area you are planning to work in.
• The street address of your worksite.
• The nearest intersecting road and the distance to that road.
• The kind of work you are doing, such as planting a tree or putting up a fence.
• Whether any explosives, boring equipment or if any equipment reaches 14 feet into the air or higher.
• The date you plan to start your work.
• The area you would like to have marked for underground facilities on the property. For example, "a 20-foot radius of the tree in the back yard," or "a 10-foot perimeter of the staked area west of the garage."
After The Call
Keep the ticket number you receive from Diggers Hotline. It is your legal proof that you have called Diggers Hotline and complied with the state law.
You have 10 calendar days from your project's start date and time (which you receive from Diggers Hotline) to begin your work. The markings remain valid if you continue to work on your project without interruptions of more than 10 calendar days. If there is inactivity on your project for more than 10 calendar days, you'll have to call Diggers Hotline to get a new three working day start date and time.
A call to Diggers Hotline will not get private facilities marked. Examples of private facilities include electric line to a detached garage or lamp, underground sprinkler systems, security systems, sewer or water laterals and walkway lights connected by underground cables. These are facilities that are owned by the person who owns the property and will not be marked by locators working for the utilities.
At the Dig Site
After the utility markings have been placed and your start date and time have passed, you cannot excavate with power tools within 18 inches on either side of the markings. If you need to dig closer to the marks, hand tools, such as shovels, may be used with caution.
If you expose an underground facility, it is your responsibility to inspect it before backfilling. If damage of any kind is discovered or suspected, you are required to notify the affected utility immediately.
If the markings are destroyed or tampered with, just call Diggers Hotline and you can get facilities relocated within 24 business hours.
After you are done with your project, it is your responsibility to remove any flags that have marked underground facilities.
If you find paint marks or flags on your property and you did not call Diggers Hotline, leave the marks or flags in place, as they are for a professional excavation in your area.
About Diggers Hotline
Diggers Hotline was established in 1976 and has helped thousands of people obtain information on the location of underground facilities and safe working clearances from overhead lines — all for absolutely no cost to the caller.
Diggers Hotline was created to increase worker and public safety, prevent damage to underground and overhead facilities, protect the environment and to help ensure continuity of utility and communication services.
Anyone planning on or actually digging or excavating, no matter how big or small the job, is required by law to contact Diggers Hotline at least three working days before digging.
Diggers Hotline, Wisconsin's one-call notification center, coordinates activities between excavators and owners of underground facilities, such as buried phone, cable, gas, water or electric lines. Calling Diggers Hotline is required for anyone who is excavating, according to Wisconsin State Statute 182.0175.
A pedestal near your worksite is a good indication that underground lines are nearby.
Underground utilities may be marked with paint or flags.