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Girnhill Lane Archived News 5

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Author Topic: Girnhill Lane Archived News 5  (Read 4306 times)
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« Reply #100 on: March 02, 2010, 09:09:43 pm »

How deep should gas mains and services be laid?
The Health and Safety Executive [HSE] receives a number of enquiries each year about the minimum depth at which gas mains and services should be laid. Often the enquiries are prompted when members of the public damage pipes at home (for example when gardening) or contractors damage pipes when carrying out work at domestic premises (for example when relaying driveways).

This information document summarises the legal requirements concerning how deep gas mains and services should be laid and the precautions required to minimise the risk of damage to pipes from third party activities. The guidance should be considered as minimum good practice standards.

Minimum depth requirements
Gas mains and service pipes should be designed and installed in accordance with the requirements of the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996 (PSR). PSR does not specify how deep mains and services should be laid.

However, the Regulations are supported by HSE guidance 'A guide to the Pipelines Safety Regulations 1996' and there is also a Health & Safety Commission [HSC] Approved Code of Practice and Guidance 'Design, construction and installation of gas service pipes'.

These publications refer to the Institution of Gas Engineers' guidance 'IGE/TD/3 Distribution Mains' and 'IGE/TD/4: Gas services' which specify the minimum depth of cover which gas mains and services should be laid in order to minimise the risk of accidental third party damage.

HSE expects mains and services to be laid at the depths specified in these publications unless other effective precautions are taken to minimise the risk of third party damage.

A gas main should normally be laid with a minimum depth of cover of 750 mm in a road or verge and 600 mm in a footpath.
A gas service pipe should normally be laid with a minimum depth of cover of 375 mm in private ground and 450 mm in footpaths and highways.
However, these depths are only a guide and should not be relied on when carrying out work near gas services or mains. For example, road levelling, landscaping and other changes to ground conditions after a gas main or service has been laid (often decades before) can result in the depth of the ground cover changing over time. Also, gas pipes may have projections coming from them, such as valves, which are not shown on plans and may have less depth of cover than the pipe
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