National 811 Day was August 11, and Dominion Energy urges homeowners and professional excavators to put safety first by calling 811 to have underground utility lines located before any digging project. A recent nationwide survey found 42 percent of homeowners will put themselves and the safety of their community at risk by not calling 811 before they dig.
“The call to 811 is fast, free and South Carolina state law,” said Greg McGlohorn, General Manager of Construction, Operations and Maintenance for Dominion Energy’s South Carolina natural gas business. “In South Carolina alone, Dominion Energy gas lines are struck approximately 500 times each year by excavators who did not call 811 to have those lines marked.”
Dominion Energy aims to dispel common misconceptions about 811, the process and its importance:
Myth 1 “Calling 811 takes time and money away from my project.”
Fact: The call to 811 and the professional locate service is paid by utilities for your safety. If you’re on-the-go, you can conveniently request line markings at sc811.com or through the SC811 app.
Myth 2 “I remember when the utilities were put in.” or “I’m digging in a spot that was marked before.”
Fact: Erosion and root system growth can change the depth and location of buried lines, or your utility companies may have completed work on their facilities since your last call.
Myth 3 “I’ve hired a contractor or landscaper to do the digging project. They know what they’re doing.”
Fact: Your contractor or landscaper does not know where underground utility lines are located. Always check with your contractor to make sure that they have contacted 811 and utilities have been marked before digging-related work begins.
Myth 4 “There’s no need to call 811 if there’s a pipeline marker. The marker shows me where the line is.”
Fact: Dominion Energy pipeline markers indicate that there is a pipeline in the area. Calling 811 is still required to know the location of the pipeline.
Myth 5 “If I hit a gas line and nothing happens, it’s not a big deal.”
Fact: Even if the line doesn’t appear to be damaged, call Dominion Energy at 1-800-251-7234. Protective coating damage or even a small dent in a gas line could cause an issue in the future.
State law requires the call to 811 three full business days before beginning digging activities. When you click or call 811, you will be asked to provide information about the location and nature of your digging project. Underground facility owners have three full business days to mark lines. Once all utility lines have been marked, dig carefully within 24 inches of each side of the markings. If you can avoid digging near the marks, consider moving your project to another part of your yard.