Attorney General Alan Wilson Reminds SC to Call Before You Dig

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) – April 2, 2021 – April is National Safe Digging month. Attorney General Alan Wilson reminds everyone to call or login to before you dig. It’s the law, and it’s not just for contractors and utilities. No job is too small or too big.

“You may think the digging you do at your house is too small to bother with calling 811, but if you hit an electrical or gas line you could injure or kill yourself or someone else,” Attorney General Wilson said. “You could face a fine from our office and you’re also responsible for the cost of any damage you do to the utility companies’ lines.”

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.

In the United States, someone damages a utility line, on average, every six 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 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.

So before you put in your garden, plant flowers around your mailbox, or start a project that involves digging, contact SC811! Visit for more information about safe digging practices in South Carolina.  There is also an online training program available at

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Welcome to the on-line office for Attorney General Alan Wilson. Please visit the Contact Us page to stay in touch.

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Columbia, SC

Rembert Dennis Building | 1000 Assembly Street,

Room 519 | Columbia, S.C. 29201

Phone: 1-803-734-3970 | Fax: (803) 253-6283

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