COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 12, 2008) – In 2007, South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. crews responded to more than 1,500 calls of underground pipelines damaged or ruptured by residents, contractors and others. In a majority of these cases, the unintentional damage could have been prevented if someone had called to have their lines marked before beginning a digging or excavation project.
May is National Safe Digging Month and SCE&C wants to continue raising public awareness of 811 – a new, easy to remember “Call Before You Dig” phone number. By dialing “811,” homeowners and project managers can connect directly to their local utility protection service, which in turn contacts local utility companies to mark their lines – free of charge.
“This is the time of year when folks want to work around their homes and we want to give them the information they need so that they can do so safely,” said Marty Phalen, vice president, SCE&G gas operations. “It’s our obligation to educate our customers and anyone else living near our pipelines.”
Accidental dig-ins – which occur on average four times every day – not only interrupt service, but they put homeowners at risk of coming into contact with gas or electric lines. For more information about South Carolina regulations, including when to call 811, visit www.sceg.com/digsafely.