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National 8-1-1 Day Highlights Digging Safety

Cayce, S.C. (Aug. 10, 2018) – Saturday, Aug. 11 (8/11), marks National 811 Day, a day that serves to remind the public to call 811 before digging to avoid damage to underground utility lines.

“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors to put safety first by calling 811 before digging to avoid striking an underground utility line,” said Greg McGlohorn, General Manager of construction, operations and maintenance for SCE&G's natural gas business. “The call to 811 is fast, free and required by law.”

McGlohorn said careless digging mistakes are the greatest threat utilities face to the safety of their underground infrastructure.

For SCE&G’s natural gas business, gas lines are damaged an average of five times each business day. Failure to call 811 is the leading cause of damage to SCE&G’s natural gas lines, accounting for nearly 40 percent of all incidents.

Utility services that the public depends on, such as electric, natural gas, water and sewer, cable TV, high-speed internet and landline telephone, are buried underground in many communities. Unintentionally striking one of these lines may result in inconvenient service disruptions for entire neighborhoods, and could lead to injuries or costly repairs.

South Carolina State Law requires the public to call 811 at least three full business days before digging so that utilities have time to mark their underground facilities before excavation begins. Examples of projects that require a call to 811 include:

  • Planting a tree, bush or flower bed
  • Installing a mailbox, fence or underground sprinkler system
  • Building a deck, storage unit or playground
  • Laying a patio, moving a road or adding rooms to a home or building
  • Installation of other utilities

After gathering information about the digging site, South Carolina 811 transmits the information to utilities in the area. Utility locators then mark underground lines for free with paint, flags or both. Once the digging site is marked, it’s safe to begin digging.

To learn more about safe digging, visit sceg.com/gassafety and sc811.org.

About SCE&G

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company is a regulated public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity to approximately 723,000 customers in the central, southern and southwestern portions of South Carolina. The company also provides natural gas service to approximately 371,000 customers throughout the state.