CAYCE — Every six minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone decides to dig without calling 811 first.
When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to SC811, the local one-call contact 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, spray paint or both.
The colors of the paint and flags indicate a universal color to what is buried below ground.
• Red — Electric
• Orange — Communications, Telephone/CATV
• Blue — Potable Water
• Green — Sewer/Drainage
• Yellow — Gas/Petroleum Pipe Line
• Purple — Reclaimed Water
• White — Premark site of intended excavation
Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck, planting a tree and laying a patio are all examples of digging projects that need a call to 811 before starting. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages.
“On Aug. 11 and throughout the year, we remind homeowners and professional contractors alike to call 811 before digging to eliminate the risk of striking an underground utility line,” said Felicia Howard, vice president of SCE&G gas operations. “It really is the only way to know where utilities are buried in your yard or work zone.”
National 811 Day was Aug. 11 — 8/11.
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.
To learn more about 811 and safe digging practices, visit www.sc811.com.