Call Before You Dig!

Safe digging is everyone’s responsibility. It’s a free service to notify SC811 of your planned excavation to help prevent damages that may result in fines, utility service interruption and injury – even death. Please see the information below that details how to excavate safely.

Step 1 – Request a Locate

It’s a FREE service to use and it’s the LAW! No matter how small the project, it’s important to:

Call (811 or 888-721-7877) or

Request a Locate.

Damaging a utility could result in costly fines, inconvenient outages, injury or even death.
Keep neighbors and yourself safe.

Step 2 – When to dig

A 3 full business day notice must be given prior to digging (Excluding Subaqueous work). If you have an excavation project planned for the weekend, remember to call in your locate on or before Tuesday!! View the calendar below to find out when you can start digging.

Step 3 – Where to dig

Please be sure to save your locate notice number. Once the lines have been marked please dig carefully and keep tolerance zones in mind. Please view the Tolerance Zone diagram for further details.

The following illustration demonstrates the areas where it is safe to dig mechanically and where it is required to hand dig. The tolerance zone is 24 inches on either side of the utility mark plus ½ the diameter of the facility. Always hand dig to expose facilities in the tolerance zone.

Mechanized equipment is not to be used within the tolerance zone until the excavator has visually identified the precise location of the facility, or has visually confirmed that no facility is present up to the depth of excavation. The excavator is also responsible to ensure reasonable precautions are taken to avoid any substantial weakening of the facility’s structural or lateral support, or both, or penetration or destruction of the facilities or their protective coatings.

Tolerance Chart Diagram

Safe Digging with Cliff Meidl

“That Guy” Commercial

811 Pirate Video for kids

What do the colors mean?

Locators use the APWA Uniform color code to mark underground facilities. Each color used represents a different type of utility. The chart depicts what each color represents.

Quick Tips

Please be ready with the following information when you call in your locate:

  1. The name, address, and telephone number of the person providing the notice, and, if different, the contact information and name of the site contact.
  2. The person or company doing the work;
  3. Who is the work being done for;
  4. How long the work will take;
  5. The type of work;
  6. If the area will be pre-marked;
  7. Whether or not drilling, boring or explosives will be used in the area of excavation.
  8. The location of the job site (including county, town, nearest intersection or cross street and directions to the site);
  9. Where on the property the underground utilities need to be located.

Privately Owned Lines

**Facility operators only mark the lines they install and maintain, which does not include privately owned lines. Private lines may include water and sewer services that the plumber installed or an electric line that runs to a detached garage/workshop.

Click on our list of our members who can provide private locators

More Questions?

Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page!

Curious about 811 in other states? Click the 811 button to learn more!