New South Carolina “Call Before You Dig” Laws

Call Before You Dig

shutterstock_567533176New dig laws in South Carolina now requires residents to take an extra step before they start working on projects outside their home.

SCE&G announced on June 7 that the 2012 South Carolina Underground Utility Damage Prevention Act will take effect.  Diggers must notify the proper authorities three days in advance and a member company will then send either one of their employees or a contract locator to your dig site to mark the location of their underground facility lines.

SCE&G said failure to notify SC811 prior to beginning an excavation project can result in fines of up to $1,000.

How does it work?

Those who are looking to dig, are asked to submit a locate request notice by entering it on the SC811 website or by calling 811 or (888) 721-7877.

Gus Chapman, SCE&G operations manager said line marking is free of charge and good for 15 days after it has been approved by a contract locator.

“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.”

Each utility company will come out to your location and mark its respective lines.   Once the lines are marked, residents are allowed to start digging their project as long as they stay two feet from either side of each line.

There are some exemptions within the law. For example, tilling or plowing of soil less than one foot in depth is allowed for agricultural purposes, and homeowners can dig on their own land when the excavation is less than ten inches in depth.

Projects that warrant SC811 notification include the installation of:

  • Septic tanks and sewer lines
  • Swimming pools
  • Wells
  • Sprinkler systems and water lines
  • Basketball goal posts or mailbox posts
  • Fences and deck posts
  • Trees and shrubs

If you need to reach SCE&G for any reason, you can call them toll-free at 1-888-333-4465.

If you have questions about the new dig laws, if you suspect someone in your neighborhood has broken dig laws, or if you have been charged for violating dig laws, litigation could be complicated. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.




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