How deep are gas lines buried?

How deep are gas lines buried?

Do you have to do certain construction work that involves digging? If the answer is yes, you have to be very careful because any negligence and damage to the pipeline can cause a real disaster. There can be a large gas leak and even an explosion where the consequences can be fatal. Fortunately, with a little attention and knowing where everything is, we can easily avoid it. In this article, you will learn how deep the gas lines are buried and how to dig without fear of disaster.

After we learned where are septic tanks buried we move to gas lines.

How deep are the gas lines laid and why exactly that depth?

The answer to this question is difficult to give because it depends on the regulations for the state and area where you live. For example, in New York, a law in force says that all lines must be at least 24 inches underground. In California, on the other hand, the same law says that the lines must be at least 18 inches below the ground. In the UK, this law requires different depths depending on where the gas line is located. If it's below the road, it must be a minimum of 28 inches below the ground, while below the footpath they are placed at least 14 inches below the surface. You must check the regulations of your country for the correct and verified information.

If you are wondering why those depths, the answer is self-evident. In the example of the United Kingdom, lines are laid at greater depths below surfaces where traffic is higher and stronger. That's why there is less depth of gas lines under footpaths than under the road. The more people in an area, the greater is the chance of line damage.


Where exactly are the gas lines located?

Gas lines are usually installed in areas where utilities are most needed. To be completely sure you can always call one of the many lines in the US that are in charge of an issue like yours. Always call at least 3 or 4 days before the planned works to get the information on time and to carry out appropriate field checks if necessary. Many construction companies can determine this for you. They use a special radar that penetrates the ground and reads the exact location of the gas lines via a signal, all without any damage. Readings vary in the range of 6 inches so keep this in mind while digging.


I hit the gas line, what should I do?

We said earlier that in the event of a gas line hit, the consequences could be catastrophic. From gas leaks to explosions that can cause human casualties. If you hit the gas line, be sure to report it to the competent service. In the US, it is a special hotline for gas pipelines. If you hit the gas line and don't report it, the fines can be huge. Even up to $ 50,000 in California plus remediation costs so be careful.


How to do the desired job safely?

First and foremost, you need to know what you are doing. Be sure to call the phone lines mentioned earlier and find out the exact location of the gas lines in the area where you plan to dig. Don’t even start digging if you don’t have a pipeline layout. Some lines are more sensitive than others because they work under higher pressure. As a result, some of the lines can be damaged without a direct hit. Therefore, besides the location, it's important to know what is in individual gas lines. If more than one person is involved in the work, make sure everyone knows the layout of the gas lines. In most cases, where possible, excavation with hand tools is recommended, while excavation with a mechanical drive should be avoided if possible. Manual excavation is easier to control than machine excavation.


Final thoughts

In excavations and works like this, you have to be very careful. Get well organized and plan everything. Be sure to check the exact location of the gas lines with the relevant services before starting work. If you are unsure and have no experience in similar jobs, you can always turn to construction companies that can do the job for you. In some situations, it's a better solution than risking the health of yourself and others.