COLUMBIA, S.C. (June 7, 2012) – If you are planning a summer landscape project or other outdoor building project such as installing a new mailbox post, fence, deck, basketball goal or sprinkler system, it is important to remember to call before you dig.
A new South Carolina law goes into effect today that increases the notice time property owners and professional excavators need to give to locators before moving forward with outdoor digging projects.
The 2012 South Carolina Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act requires that diggers give three full working days notice (not including the day of the call and excluding weekends and holidays) for the locators to get out to mark the area. Failure to notify SC811 prior to beginning an excavation project can result in fines of up to $1,000.
“By calling 811, you can register your project so that SCE&G and other utilities can send a representative out to mark the location of utility lines so that you or your contractor can stay safe and easily avoid them while working on your outdoor project, said Gus Chapman, SCE&G operations manager. “Line marking is free of charge and is good for 15 working days after it has been processed by SC811,” he said.
Once locators mark the area, the new law says diggers must stay two feet away from the lines on either side, rather than 30 inches, when using motorized digging equipment.
After a notice has been processed, diggers will know when they are legally free to proceed with the digging work. SC811 member utilities mark only the underground lines they maintain. For example, SCE&G will mark its electric lines in red and gas lines in yellow. Cable TV and telephone companies mark in orange, water companies mark in blue and sewer companies mark in green.
The South Carolina 811 local call center is part of a national network in which dig calls are directed to a central location for that state; appropriate local utility companies are then contacted to mark their underground lines.
Visit www.sc1pups.org for a link to the new law or www.sceg.com/en/public-safety/call-before-you-dig/ for more information from SCE&G.