Call Before You Dig


What is 811? It’s the national number designated by the Federal Communications Commission to help protect do-it-yourselfers, landscapers and contractors from unintentionally hitting underground utilitiy lines while working on digging projects. – large and small.

Why call 811? South Carolina Law requires a 72-hour notice (three working days) before you excavate. Why? In order to reduce and/or prevent dig-ins. A dig-in can cause death or injury, damage to public or private property and loss or interruption of services.

Who will I get at 811?  In the area served by Horry Electric Cooperative, you’ll be connected with PUPS (The Palmetto Utility Protection Service, Inc.).  PUPS is a corporation formed and funded by participating utility companies hoping to improve community and job safety, and to promote improved service through damage reduction to utilities.

What happens when I call PUPS?  The computerized notification center will establish a computer link between those who dig underground and those who operate underground facilities.   The service is FREE and one call does it all, as long as all of the utilities involved are members of PUPS.

When your call is answered, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Telephone number
  • Name of caller
  • County and city
  • Address or job location
  • Start date and time
  • Type of work
  • Contractor
  • Contractor address

Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job.

Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs. The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Digging without calling can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Calling 811 before every digging job gets your underground utility lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.

Having lines located before you dig can save you:

  • Costly repairs to damaged pipes, lines, etc.
  • Delays in construction
  • Wasted crew time
  • Personal injury or property damage

The alternate phone number for PUPS is 1-888-721-7877.  You can also access PUPS via their Website.