Friday, August 15, 2014
South Carolina Electric & Gas wants to remind residents to call 811 before digging so that underground utility lines can be marked before digging projects. Every six minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided 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
Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. 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.
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 http://www.sc1pups.org/.