Burying Pipes In Your Yard? Here's How To Prevent Damage To Your Utility Lines

If you are planning a project that involves burying pipes in your yard, such as if you are putting in a well or installing a drainage system, then you could be concerned about damaging buried utility lines. Cable lines, water lines and electric wires could all be buried in your yard, and you might not even know where all of these lines are located. Luckily, following a few tips can help you prevent yourself from damaging these lines, which could cause expensive damage and a lot of hassle.

Mark Off Utility Lines With Flags

Before you start planning your project, you will need to contact all of your utility providers to find out exactly where your utility lines are buried. Don't automatically assume that you know where they are; in some cases, lines are extended in strange directions due to things like tree roots getting in the way. Someone from each of your utility companies should be able to come out and show you where all of your utility lines are. You may have to pay for this service, and you may have to be home on the day that each company sends out a technician.

Your utility companies should mark off the area where your lines are located with flags. If they don't, you should take the initiative to do it; luckily, these flags can generally be purchased at home improvement stores. When putting down your flags, give yourself a few inches of leeway to help ensure that you don't accidentally damage your utility lines.

Use Horizontal Directional Drilling

Along with properly marking off the areas of your yard which house your utility lines, it's also important to think about the digging and burying method that you will be using. Even if you're careful to try to avoid your utility lines, many digging methods, such as using a shovel or a set of diggers, can cause more widespread damage than you probably think. Therefore, you may want to consider horizontal directional drilling instead.

Horizontal direction drilling involves drilling more horizontally than vertically. The machine for this type of drilling is steerable and does minimal damage to the ground around you while still helping you to bury your pipes. You can hire a contractor who specializes in this type of drilling, or you can rent one of these machines from a heavy equipment rental company. Regardless, along with helping to prevent damage to your utility lines, one of these machines will also do minimal damage to your lawn.

Burying pipes could cause damage to your utility lines if you aren't careful. Luckily, doing the digging with horizontal directional drilling will help you prevent this damage.