Best Practices Version 20.0

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Chapter 2

2.6 Follow All Applicable Codes, Statutes, and Facility Owner/Operator Standards

Practice Statement:

When planning and designing the installation of new or replacement of existing underground facilities, the designer follows all federal, state/provincial, and local guidelines, codes, statutes, and other facility owner/operator standards.

Practice Description:

The designer of a facility project typically considers only national industry codes, regulations, and practices applicable to that particular facility and not of adjacent facilities. Regulations, codes, standards, and other design documents generally specify depth of cover and horizontal and vertical clearances between adjacent facilities. However, they are not always prescriptive and can be subject to interpretation by the designer. In addition, certain codes allow exceptions to the prescribed minimum clearances, contingent upon approval between the affected facility owners/operators. The designer also must consider the protection and temporary support of adjacent facilities and any interference to existing cathodic protection and grounding systems. Consequently, the designer must provide specifications of safety measures to be taken and procedures for emergency notification and repairs in case an adjacent facility is damaged. Designers are aware of proposed and revised standards and codes that may affect the project.


The designer who reviews codes pertaining to adjacent facilities minimizes any potential conflict of code clearance requirements and facilitates future locating efforts.

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