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Facility Depth

If you've ever thought, 'I'm not digging that deep. I won't run into any facilities," then this section will be helpful. You should never assume the depth of any underground facility. Over time, the amount of soil over those lines can change. The diagrams below illustrate this concept.

depth

Flags and painted lines on the ground tell you the horizontal direction the facility is running. They do not tell you its depth. Even though facilities are supposed to be placed at a certain depth when they’re installed, those depths can change throughout time. For example, let’s say this power line was buried at a depth of three feet. Years later, the land is developed and the area is landscaped.

swale

At the berm, the line is now five feet underground but at the swale it is only one foot below the surface. Accidentally discovering this situation could literally be a heart stopping experience. In addition to landscaping, re-grading, re-paving, building development, erosion and even frost can make changes to facility depth you cannot anticipate.