(STL.News) – April is National Safe Digging month and, while the month is almost over, this is a reminder that’s important for the entire year. Attorney General Alan Wilson reminds everyone to call or login to SC811.com before you dig. It’s the law, and it’s not just for contractors and utilities. No job is too small or too big.
811 is the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to help protect do-it-yourselfers, landscapers, and contractors from unintentionally hitting underground utility lines while working on projects that involve digging. Many people are working on their yards right now, both because it’s spring and because of stay-at-home orders.
In the United States, someone damages a utility line, on average, every nine minutes. Damage to utilities can cause disruption of services to your neighborhood, and can even be deadly, especially in the case of damage to gas or electric lines. Liability of tens of thousands of dollars can arise when a utility has to repair the damage. Additionally, the Attorney General has the authority to levy fines for violations of the South Carolina Underground Damage Prevention Act. See S.C. Code Ann. § 58-36-120.
You can call in a locate notice request by dialing 811. You can also use the online portal at www.SC811.com. The portal can be easily accessed from your computer or cell phone to place a locate notice request. It only takes about two minutes to enter a locate notice request when using the portal. Or, you can place your locate notice request through the South Carolina 811 app, which is available on Apple and Android devices. Locate notice requests need to be made three full business days before work begins.