It is worrying to dig in your yard and suddenly hear a thud when you think there is just dirt underfoot. In fact, this is quite common as there are many pipes and cables that are installed underground.
What Kind of Cables and Pipes Might Be Under My Yard?
It is more common to find pipes underground than it is to find cables. There are various pipes that connect your sewage, and water runoff, to public treatment facilities where it is cleaned and sent back into the ocean. Before you begin to dig in your yard it is important to look at the utility mapping of the area and know where important pipes lay. The most common objects buried in your yard are utility pipes, telecommunication cables, and gas lines.
Most homes in Australia have at least one utility pipe buried in their yard. These pipes provide clean water to your home and drain all waste to public treatment plants. Many homeowners that don’t have proper drainage in their yard will install a network of pipes into the ground to divert water to a better location, or connect it with a sewer runoff.
The pipes must be buried a minimum of 48 inches below the lowest drainage point. If you need to have work done in your yard you will need to contact the city and get the appropriate permits to avoid damaging public water lines. The last thing you want is for a sewage line to accidentally break in your front lawn, and have to pay the costs to fix it.
For the most part, the only cable buried in your yard are telecommunication wires for your internet, cable, and phone lines. In the age of technology these are very important cables for your entertainment. These cables are often only a few inches into the ground and will pop out near your home.
These cables are incredibly difficult to find, and many homeowners have accidentally cut these lines while doing yard work. The days of having a household phone have come to an end as everyone and their grandma has a cell phone, so these lines are most likely lying useless in your yard as a remnant of earlier times.
The most dangerous pipe in your yard is your gas line. Before you dig in your yard you should contact your gas company and they will send a locator to your home to determine where the pipes lay. If you hit a gas line, stop what you are doing and immediately leave the area. You must extinguish any flames, including cigarettes, and call the emergency number for your gas company.
Most of the time the gas will be shut off so you can fix the problem. The average cost of repairing a gas line is roughly $500 with the most expensive repairs exceeding $1,300. Avoid this hassle at all costs and call your gas company before you dig!
Written by: Quintin Bentley Crevling