Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Question:
What is the recommended horizontal and vertical separation for underground utilities?

ANSWER:
There are not set values for the recommended horizontal and vertical separation for underground utilities, but there are minimum standards. The minimum horizontal separation for utilities is 2 feet, in order to protect the lines from damage while an adjacent utility is being repaired. The only lines that have a higher standard for horizontal separation are water and sewer lines, which are required by the County Health Code to be at least 10 feet apart from each other.
The minimum allowable depths below gutter grade of the utilities determine the minimum vertical separation:
Local Streets (80' wide)
24" for service pipelines
30" for all pipelines transporting non-hazardous substances
30" for electrical facilities
42" for pipelines transporting hazardous substances
Master Plan Highways (100' wide)
24" for service pipelines
30" for all pipelines transporting non-hazardous substances
30" for electrical facilities
42" for pipelines transporting hazardous substances
If the lines are stacked on top of one another as part of a joint trench (which is now required for new developments by the County and functions as one trench to hold all the utility lines), the normal vertical separation is 1 foot.


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