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Thread: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    New digging laws go into effect next week
    For safety, officials offer a reminder to call 811 before starting new project
    By RODDIE BURRIS - rburris@thestate.com

    Stricter digging laws go into effect next week and state leaders are reminding excavators, contract locators, facility operators and property owners to call South Carolina 811 before digging – to avoid potentially deadly results.
    The new laws go into effect Thursday, and among other things, increases the response times locators have to give diggers an all-clear to dig. They also widen the clearances where motorized equipment may be used to dig near identified utility lines.
    The new law means property owners, for instance, will have to build three full days into their planning before digging can commence after they contact authorities, compared with the less restrictive existing regulations.

    Once locators identify and mark lines – such as cable, gas and electric – motorized digging equipment must not be used within 24 inches, or 2 feet – rather than the existing 30-inch berth – on either side of the marked utility.
    “It is important for South Carolinians who may be excavating in the future to familiarize themselves with these law changes,” said Charleigh Elebash, South Carolina 811 spokeswoman.
    “However, the first step to keeping yourself safe and protecting underground facilities when you excavate is to always call 811 so you will know where it’s safe to dig.”
    Each year, South Carolina 811 fields between 500,000-600,000 locator requests, Elebash said. The South Carolina 811 local call center is part of a state-by-state national network in which dig calls are directed to a central location for that state and appropriate utility companies are contacted to schedule property reviews.
    The 811 dig hotline has been in effect in the Palmetto State for five years and slowly is replacing the toll-free 800 number residents traditionally have used to get clearances for digging, officials said. Calls to 811 have increased each year by about 10 percent, officials said.
    Meanwhile, South Carolina’s excavation law regarding underground facilities has not been changed or updated since 1978. See sc811.com for the full Underground Facility Damage Prevention Act.
    “The new law was created to better protect underground facilities and provide a safe environment for excavators and (the) general public,” Elebash said. “It will affect not only professional excavators and facility operators (utilities), but also homeowners digging in their yards.”
    South Carolina has been fortunate that no deadly or major incidents have occurred regarding unauthorized or illegal digging mishaps. Back-to-back deadly mishaps were reported in 2010 in Texas and nearby Georgia, just outside of Augusta.
    Two people died and others were injured that year in a June explosion when a natural gas pipeline was ruptured during an unauthorized excavation in Texas. One man died and another was injured a month later in an explosion in Thomson, Ga., when a propane pipeline was hit during an excavation.

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    OMG you guys actually hade a 30 inches on either side of the marking at one point!?

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    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    digscout....those were the good ole days....lol
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

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    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by DigScout View Post
    OMG you guys actually hade a 30 inches on either side of the marking at one point!?
    Man, if we had that I could start drinking on the job!
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Yup that's the largest tolerance zone I have ever heard of. I know that New York and Florida both have 2 feet each side of the mark tolerance. I am not aware of any other state currently that has more than 2 feet each side tolerance, is there anywhere that has more?!

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    Senior Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    I've worked some trailer parks where the entire property would fall in the margin. Just throw a flag in the middle and call it done.

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    Senior Member locator_smbk's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by daman1 View Post
    I've worked some trailer parks where the entire property would fall in the margin. Just throw a flag in the middle and call it done.
    I love that idea!!!

    Also, NC has 30 inches on either side of the mark, and has had that for a number of years now...
    "No, installing your fence is NOT an emergency"...

    - or -

    "It's call BEFORE you dig, not AFTER you've hit something."


    Yes, my avatar does describe my attitude towards many others...

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    Senior Member UTILQ1's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    That 30 inches is just a southern learning curve thing...

    Thats all

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Please put a law on that amount of tickets that can be called in one city or county unless its a emergency and when that county or area is under some sorta of weather advisory tickets can not be recieved at that time...... also laws within the dig zones of any paint (like this post says) should be inforced more. in every state.

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by locator_smbk View Post
    I love that idea!!!

    Also, NC has 30 inches on either side of the mark, and has had that for a number of years now...
    30 inches!! Wow.Louisiana still living with 18.

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by UTILQ1 View Post
    That 30 inches is just a southern learning curve thing...

    Thats all
    Ouch, and you're almost a southerner...

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    Senior Member UTILQ1's Avatar
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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by TMINTH View Post
    Ouch, and you're almost a southerner...

    Was trying to roust my old nemisis SMBK w/ that response, but guess he's been offsite ?

    I lived in NC for 16yrs was always getting gigged for sounding a yank (originally a MD resident for 30 yrs), now back up north going to school in De., and getting gigged for sounding like Jeff Foxworthy.

    I'm a mutt dialect wise... Oh well have to be buried on the Mason Dixon line I spose...
    Last edited by UTILQ1; July 15th, 2012 at 12:37 AM.

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    I manage to hide my hick accent...mostly. Sometimes I slip. Got busted by an engineer at a locate once. I still catch myself doing it sometimes. It's an automatic deduction of a minimum of 10 IQ points when people hear it.

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    Default Re: New dig laws help protect underground facilities and the individuals working on them. South Carolina leads the way!

    Quote Originally Posted by utiliquesternomo View Post
    30 inches!! Wow.Louisiana still living with 18.
    That's what she said!!!

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