Lt. Gov. issues proclamation identifying April as Safe Digging Month

Kaziah Howard, Director of Public Awareness for SC 811. Photo provided.

Lt. Governor Pamela Evette visited the office of South Carolina 811 on April 3 to deliver a proclamation, identifying April as Safe Digging Month in South Carolina.

The proclamation comes as a response to the statistic that more than 40 percent of homeowners who plan to dig this year will put themselves and others at risk by not planning to call 811. Digging without knowing the approximate location of underground utilities can result in serious injuries, service disruptions, and costly repairs. It creates the potential for gas, electric, communications, water and sewer lines to be punctured, cut or damaged.

Evette delivered the proclamation at the SC 811 office on Dutch Square Boulevard.

Director of Public Awareness Kaziah Howard said by not calling 811 to make sure it’s safe to dig, homeowners are putting themselves and their communities at risk.

Seven days after the proclamation was announced, a contractor in North Carolina hit a two-inch natural gas line while drilling, killing a coffee shop owner and injuring 17 people. Howard said this is exactly the type of incident SC 811 is works hard to prevent. “This is a very tragic event, and we really need everyone to know just how important it is to call before you dig. Our service is free, and can literally save lives,” she said.

Interested parties may dial 8-1-1 within the state to inquire about digging, or call 888-721-7877 anywhere in the nation. Their offices are open Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. They are open 24 hours for emergencies.

Categories: Columbia, Education, Politics, Richland County