How Deep Should A Natural Gas Line Be Buried?

Contractors in Colorado are required to dig gas lines. Following these rules on your next trenching job will not only make it “gas line friendly,” but it will also save you time, money, and ensure that your project complies with the gas line installation regulations. Costly return visits, wasted man-hours, job delays, and customer frustrations can all be avoided with the right trench.

We’ve included illustrations to help illustrate the criteria for these gas line trenching regulations, so you can get the job done right the first time.

1) Call 811 for location informationthe it’s law. Keep in mind that they’re simply looking for service lines. A private locator is required to locate all private lines. 3 days are required for 811 services, not including the day you contact them before you begin digging.

  • At all riser locations, the trenches must be 24 deep and level throughout, with no rocks or debris that could damage the pipe in any way. Always use clean back-fill material for back-filling.
  • For added protection, the gas line must be put in a sleeve in specific circumstances. We ask that you notify your estimator if there will be any concrete poured or if the subterranean line will be subjected to additional weight, such as a driveway.
  • Please take additional care when back-filling a riser to ensure that it is straight and plum.

2) Let’s begin with the gas meter (see picture 1a)

What is the depth at which a natural gas pipeline is buried?

On private land, service lines on distribution systems must be 12 inches deep, and 18 inches deep along roads and streets. The burial depth is only for installation, and there is no need in federal rules that it be maintained over time.

For a gas line, how deep should the trench be?

DEPTH OF GAS LINE: 24 INCHES UNDER DRIVEWAYS AND PARKING AREAS, 15 INCHES UNDER NON-TRAFFIC AREAS GAS LINE TO BE BURIED FROM RISER TO RISER WITH A CONTINUOUS TRACER WIRE TERMINATING ABOVE FINISHED GRADE. ELECTRICAL CABLE DEPTH: 36 INCHES UNDER DRIVEWAYS AND PARKING AREAS, 24 INCHES UNDER NON-TRAFFIC AREAS ELECTRICAL CABLE DEPTH: 36 INCHES UNDER DRIVEWAYS AND PARKING AREAS

What is the depth at which a pipeline is buried?

Steel or plastic tubes with an inner diameter of 4 to 48 inches are used to construct oil pipelines (100 to 1,220 mm). The majority of pipelines are buried at a depth of 3 to 6 feet (0.91 to 1.83 m). A multitude of technologies are used to protect pipelines from impact, abrasion, and corrosion. Wood lagging (wood slats), concrete coating, rockshield, high-density polyethylene, imported sand padding, sacrificial cathodes, and padding machines are examples of these materials.

Crude oil contains different levels of paraffin wax, and wax buildup in a pipeline can occur in colder locations. Pigging, or the process of deploying machines known as “pigs” to undertake various maintenance activities on a pipeline, is frequently used to check and clean these pipelines. “Scrapers” or “Go-devils” are other names for the gadgets. Smart pigs (sometimes called “intelligent” or “intelligence” pigs) are used to detect anomalies in pipes such as dents, metal loss due to corrosion, cracking, or other mechanical defects. These devices are launched from pig-launcher stations and travel through the pipeline, either removing wax deposits and particles that may have collected inside the line or inspecting and recording the line’s condition.

Pipelines for natural gas are made of carbon steel and range in diameter from 2 to 60 inches (51 to 1,524 mm) depending on the type of pipeline. Compressor stations pressurize the gas, which is odorless unless a regulatory authority requires it to be blended with a mercaptan odorant.

Is it true that gas pipes are buried?

The pipeline network in the United States is a mode of transportation for products and resources. Pipelines carry a wide range of materials, including sewage and water. However, natural gas, biofuels, and liquid petroleum are the most often transported products for energy needs. Pipelines can be found all over the country, and they differ in terms of the items transported, pipe size, and pipe material.

While some pipelines are built above ground, pipelines in the United States are mostly buried underground. Most people are unaware of the extensive network of pipes since oil and gas pipelines are carefully hidden from the general public.

Is it possible to bury both water and gas in the same trench?

  • Call for Underground Locates at least 48 hours before digging at (800) 332-2344 or 811.
  • Trenches must be at least 36 inches deep.
  • If you can’t get a 36-inch depth, call Lane Electric’s Engineering Department at 541-484-1151.
  • The following separations must be maintained if the trench is to be a common trench (shared with other utilities):
  • There should be a gap of 24 inches between the gas and electric lines.
  • Water and electric lines should be separated by 12 inches.
  • Between the sewer and power lines, there should be a gap of 24 inches.
  • Between communications and power lines, there should be 12 inches between them.
  • If the trench will only be used for power, it must be wide enough to fit the conduit, which means a 4-inch ditch-witch trench will suffice.
  • The conduit must be bedded with a minimum of 4 inches of sand if the trench is dug through hard, rocky terrain.
  • Gray Schedule 40 electrical PVC must be used for all conduits.
  • At any 90-degree curve, all primary conduit (7200V) must be 3 inches in diameter with 36-inch radius long sweeping elbows.
  • For a 200 Amp service, the secondary (120/240V) conduit must be 3 inches in diameter, with 36-inch radius long sweeping elbows at any 90 bend.
  • For a 400 Amp service, secondary (120/240V) conduit must be 3 inches in diameter, with 36-inch radius long sweeping elbows at any 90 bend. (As an example, see Exhibit A.)
  • At any 90-degree bend, street or security lighting conduit must be 1.25 inches thick with 36-inch radius long sweeping elbows.
  • In any one run of primary or secondary conduit between devices, there will be no more than 270 bends (3-90 bends or 2-90 & 2-45 bends).
  • Mandrel proofing is required for all primary conduits.
  • Details on mandreling can be found in Exhibit I.
  • All primary and secondary conduits must be left with new 2500# mule-tape. Mule-tape must be able to move freely in conduit and have enough length (10 feet or more) beyond each end to allow for conductor installation. Mule-tape is available for free at Lane Electric.
  • Specifications for transformers and primary or secondary junction boxes must be obtained from Lane Electric’s Engineering Department.
  • (Common facilities are shown in Exhibits B-G.)
  • Call Lane Electric at 541-484-1151 to schedule an inspection with the Engineering and Operations Department once the trench is dug and conduit is installed.
  • The Trench can be back-filled after the conduit and the Trench have been inspected.
  • It is not possible to install the conductor until the trench has been backfilled.

Note that no primary or secondary electric lines may be installed beneath a concrete foundation or slab.