How Deep Are Utility Lines Buried In Indiana?

According to the interested party, the code official has indicated, without providing a citation, that in such cases, the cables/conductors must be encased in Sched. 80 PVC and buried a minimum of 28 inches below grade.

In Indiana, how deep are home water pipes buried?

Water service pipe must be at least 12 inches (305 mm) deep and 6 inches (152 mm) below the frost line when installed.

Most utilities are buried at a certain depth.

Furthermore, National Codes specify the depth to which these lines must be buried below ground. Some low-voltage subterranean lines may be as shallow as 18 inches, whereas the majority of higher-voltage circuits will be at least 24 inches deep.

Can I go as far as I can before dialing 811?

This figure comes from the Common Ground Alliance (CGA), and if it sounds disturbingly high to you, it’s because many people are unaware that they must call 811 before digging.

While the ground may not have thawed where you are, April is National Safe Digging Month, and it’s a good reminder to know what you need to do before breaking ground on this year’s projects.

According to data collated by CGA from various industry associations, there are more than 100 billion feet of subsurface utilities in the United States, so you can’t assume your customer’s property is free of them.

There is no limit to how deep a person can go before calling 811. CGA advises that any time you put a shovel in the ground, whether it’s to plant little shrubs or build a fence, you should contact because many utilities are buried just a few inches below the surface.

Even if an area has been designated previously, erosion and root system growth might change the depth or location of buried wires, so call each time you start a job.

Calling 811 is also not an optional chore, as every state has a different statute that requires people to contact before digging. While the amount of time you have to call 811 before digging differs by state, you can find your state’s standards here.

It is a frequent misperception that dialing 811 costs money; nevertheless, dialing 811 is completely free. Utility companies cover the cost to protect you, your staff, and your customers. When you don’t call, hit a utility line, and are held liable for the damage, the true expenses effect your business.

Some utility companies charge not just for the expense of dispatching a staff to repair or replace the damaged property, but also for the loss of service caused by the outage.

In recent years, some states have enacted penalties and fines to aid in the enforcement of the law. Mississippi passed a law in 2016 requiring first-time offenders to complete a compliance training course.

Second-time offenders within a five-year period must complete a training course or face a fine of up to $500 per offense. Malicious activities with the aim to destroy subsurface lines result in a training course and fines of up to $5,000 per event for third-time crimes in a five-year period.

Here’s how the 811 system works and what to expect:

  • Two to three days before digging, call 811 or submit an online request to your local one-call center.
  • The affected utility companies will be notified by the one-call center. Wait two to three days for the utility operators to react to your request (this varies by state). For each request, an average of seven to eight operators are notified.
  • Verify that all of the operators who are affected have responded to your request. The process for confirmation varies by state.
  • Dig around the designated locations with care. The majority of state rules prevent machines from being used within 18 to 24 inches of a utility that has been marked. Hand dig or use vacuum excavation if you need to dig closer.

Keep in mind that depending on the state, the locate ticket is only good for a set amount of time, and if you want to continue, you’ll need to call 811 for a re-mark.

Stop working immediately if one of your employees accidentally hits a pipeline. The processes that follow differ depending on the type of utility line hit.

When dealing with natural gas, propane, or petroleum lines, leave the area and contact 911 as well as the facility operator. Don’t do anything that could start a blaze, and make sure everyone is aware of the situation. Keep the public out by cordoning off the area. Stay away from the gas and do not attempt to repair the pipe on your own.

Warning everyone in the area, including emergency responders, that the ground and objects near the point of contact may be energized in the case of electrical wires.

If you have a radio or phone, call the electricity utility operator or the fire department. Otherwise, stay on the excavator and ask someone to call for utility and emergency help.

Those near the excavator or point of contact should keep both feet together and remain still. They must not come into contact with the excavator or the material. Only leave the excavator and the surrounding area after an official from the electric utility has declared it safe. If a fire, explosion, or other hazard requires quick evacuation, jump (not step) from the apparatus and land with both feet. Make sure you’re at least 25 to 30 feet away. Take no ordinary walking steps.

Notify the facility owner of any damaged communications cables, and do not study or stare at broken, severed, or disconnected fibers. Keep a safe distance away and block the area to keep others out.

Contact the pipeline operator after examining the situation and ensuring that nothing appears to be harmed. Minor nicks or dents can lead to major issues in the future.

If a homeowner has consulted you but intends to do it themselves, remind them that calling 811 isn’t just for professionals; anyone planning to dig must dial this number.

What should the depth of electrical trenches be?

  • 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.

What is the recommended depth for burying a gas line?

Local governments restrict the depth at which gas lines are buried. As a result, the depths to which gas lines can be buried vary depending on the state or county in which they are buried. Main gas lines are typically at least 24 inches deep, whereas service lines are typically 18 inches deep.

What is the minimum depth required for water mains?

Pipes should be buried at least 600mm (two feet) underground, according to ‘The Department of the Environment.’ The dirt acts as a natural insulator at this depth, preventing them from freezing.

What is the ideal depth for a water line?

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Well water lines are commonly made of basic polyethylene, which is a reasonably rigid material. PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is more flexible and can be buried, but it’s usually routed through a conduit to avoid puncture damage and make repair much easier. In this sense, local situations and standards differ greatly.

What happens if I dig and come upon a water line?

Calling 811 before you dig is the most important step you can take to avoid an accident. When homeowners and contractors dial 811, a team of experts connects them with a team of experts who notify the proper utility providers of the requester’s purpose to dig. A team of professional locators is then dispatched to the excavation site to use color-coded paint and flags to indicate the locations of subsurface utilities.

Fast Fact: An underground utility line is broken every 6 minutes because someone decided to dig before dialing 811.

Even a single line struck when digging can result in significant injury, fines, hefty repair expenses, and power interruptions. So, even if you’re only excavating a few inches underground, we strongly advise you to have your utilities marked so you don’t accidentally hit one. Calling 811 before you start your project, whether you’re hiring a professional or doing it yourself, is smart digging!