Whether landscaping, planting trees, shrubs or flowers this spring, Upper Peninsula Power Co. in Ishpeming and Wisconsin Public Service officials in Green Bay, Wis., urge area residents to call 8-1-1 or contact Miss Dig before any projects involving digging begins.
Utility locate specialists will come to the home, locate and mark all underground utility services in your yard free of charge.
No matter where residents live, the electric, natural gas, cable TV, water and sewer lines may be buried underground.
The 8-1-1 Miss Dig Hotline is a coordinated, nationwide underground utility location system whose purpose is to keep everyone safe.
Location specialists will come to your home, locate, and mark all underground utility services in your yard free of charge.
Knowing where utility lines are buried before each digging project helps protect those who dig from injury, expense and penalties and ensures the reliability of the system.
Upper Peninsula Power Co. has about 7,000 miles of underground electric facilities and serves 52,000 electric customers in 118 communities.
Most customers are aware of the "8-1-1" system, but do not think it applies unless they are using some larger power digging equipment.
The unfortunate result may be serious injuries and disruption of utility service to entire neighborhoods.
Customers will be asked a few questions about their location and project. Specialists using sophisticated equipment will respond to the site and mark the location of all buried facilities (natural gas, electric, cable, telecommunications, water) on your property within a few working days.
At least three working days are required for locates prior to beginning a digging project.
Wisconsin Public Service responds to more than 400 cases of excavation damage to natural gas and electric underground facilities per year. Utility records indicate that about one-third of these incidents are caused by failure of the homeowner or professional excavator to call 8-1-1.
Wisconsin Public Service has 7,800 miles of underground natural gas pipeline and 6,000 miles of underground electrical line in 19 northeastern and north central Wisconsin counties and a portion of the Upper Peninsula.
Additionally, power company officials also advise residents to "look up" when working in the yard.
Overhead power lines carry a lot of electricity and can be dangerous if contacted. Stay a safe distance away whenever doing home improvement projects that might be near power lines.
The use of ladders or scaffolding while working in and around above-ground power lines for projects like house painting, cleaning gutters, tree branch trimming or getting roof access can also lead to unsafe situations.
Tree trimming in potentially dangerous situations near power lines should be done by tree trimming professionals who are trained and have the proper equipment.
Any electrical yard tools, like hedge trimmers, small electric rotor-tillers, pressure washers and air pressure tanks that use extension cords must also be used properly while keeping personal safety in mind.
The planting of trees in a yard can add great value to the residence.
Upper Peninsula Power Co. and Wisconsin Public Service officials remind tree planters to plant the right tree in the right place.
There are guidelines available on the Wisconsin Public Service's tree vegetation management website at www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/home/tree_vegetation.aspx.
A fast growing tree under a power line can eventually grow into the power line and cause electric service disruptions. The tree may require significant trimming or may even be removed.
Be careful with your landscaping projects.