Utility Line Separation
Every year, thousands of miles of new utility lines are placed underground in the
Commonwealth, and proper separation during installation is essential to the safe
operation and maintenance of these underground utility lines. Installing a utility
line without proper separation poses a threat to the health, safety, and welfare
of the people of the Commonwealth and the environment.
At a minimum, persons installing underground utility lines are encouraged to review
the following laws, rules, documents and standards that address utility line separation
and comply with the requirements and standards when applicable.
Additionally, inquire with the locality where new utility lines are to be placed
underground about any local codes, standards, or regulations that specify minimum
- Code of Virginia: §
56-257. Manner of installing underground utility lines.
- Virginia Administrative Code:
20VAC5-325-30. Installation of utility lines.
- Code of Federal Regulations: Part 192 Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by
Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards:
- Code of Federal Regulations: Part 195 Transportation of Hazardous Liquids By Pipeline:
- Department of Health's Waterworks Regulations,
12VAC5-590-1150. Separation of water
mains and sewers.
- National Electrical Safety Code® (“NESC®”): Rules 353 & 354
The NESC is published exclusively by the Institute of Electrical
& Electronics Engineers, Inc. (“IEEE”). Contact the
for information on how to obtain a copy.
- Utility Industry Coalition Separation Standards