Gas Line Depth

Hi!
I'm going to be digging out a bush that runs right underneath the gas line. According to JULIE, they don't say how deep the line is...just that it's there. On my sidewalk right next to the outside turn-off valve, it has ' 6" gas twp<?>" spray-painted on it. Before I start to carefully dig, does this mean that the gas line is only 6" below the surface? From what I recall, the line should run a foot or two underneath the surface, which is deeper than I will dig. Also, for what it's worth, I live in Chicago.
Just looking for some answers before I start my adventure...
Thanks!
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Correction. It says
6" MP <----> GAS CL<?>
The CL is faded, so not sure if it means centerline or something else.

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Don't hold me to it but I read it as a 6" diameter Medium Pressure pipe running in the way of the arrows. The CL should mean centerline.
Depth can vary according to many factors so dig carefully.
wrote:

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EXT wrote:

...
Not seeing it and relying on OP, I'd read it same.
But, if it is a 6" line, it's not the house distribution line and it'll be a heck of a lot deeper than just 12-18" unless it's just a local raised section simply for connections. I'd guess it would be more like 24-30".
--
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Agreed, however standards for depth vary according to local practices. Sometimes depth is adjusted locally by construction work over the pipe by adding fill or removing soil, so that any records by the gas company may be out of date. Often locating a pipe is difficult if local landmarks have been moved, or there are other installations in, around, over or next to the pipe. -- Dig by hand carefully -- it would be good to know if you are dealing with cast iron or steel as they are quite durable, plastic could be cut or punctured by a sharp pick or shovel.
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if the bush is UNDER the gas line, they you should have clear vision of it. The gas line would be above ground.

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Often, gas, water, communication, power and various utility lines share a common trench. I've seen lines as deep as 60". If you're in a facility that is well maintained, there might be as-built drawings showing the cross section and depth of utility lines. Careful when digging, I know a backhoe operator got killed when he hit a medium voltage line some years ago.
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Contacting the gas company or local "call before you dig" service would get you more reliable answers.
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Because of changes to dirt cover that may have occurred since the pipe was installed they generally will not provide information on depth, it is up to the "digger" to carefully hand uncover the pipe.
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Thank you for all the great information. I did a little research and according to the city of chicago, you have to call their service called 'digger'. According to their web site, you first have to get a permit before they even tell you where the lines are. Then they come out and tell you where they are. This is a little problem since the owner before planted these lovely bushes in the parkway, which I hate. Finally, it's city property, not my own....so you can't cut them down..or plant things there. So, long story short...if these bushes go missing, I don't think it's an issue. If I called, I'd have to get a permit first, then have them come out, then see if I can even get a permit so I can cut down the bush...I don't know, it's a lot for just something the previous owner did.
I was under the impression that they just say where they are located and not how deep they are. I was carefully digging around the stump today and didn't see anything. So, I think that I'll be safe and just continue to dig little by little until that damn stump is removed!!!
And also, it's a main line. It sounds like as long as I'm careful, I shouldn't have much to worry about.
Thanks!!

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.
A few years ago when replacing a water line to the house we had the gas company mark the location. It was down about six foot. The guy fixing the water line was being very careful because he found the gas line was white plastic instead of the normal hearvy yellow stuff. When trying to loosend a nut his arm slipped, his elbow hit the gas line and cracked it!! Had to suspend digging for a couple hours while the gas company repaired the line. The gas crew broke the pipe in three other places during the repair. Gas company assured me they were going to replace that line within 5 years. It's been over 5 and they have not done it yet. The gas company repair man said my grass would die if there was a leak (burn??).
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Rich256 wrote:
...

I am skeptical about that (unless the escaping gas was on fire). Has anyone heard of this before?
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Yep. Many gas companies suggest using that as an indicator. Just a couple I ran across post Google: http://www.gulfstreamgas.com/recognizing_leak.htm http://www.pplgas.com/home/using+natural+gas/natural+gas+pipeline+safety . htm
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M Q wrote:

Hi, NG has peculiar smell.
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1. Natural gas has no smell. The gas company adds mercaptans, smelly gases, to create that odor so you can tell if there's a leak. Natural gas is a mixture of organic gases (methane, ethane, propane, butane, ...), none of which have an odor to humans.
2. The various gases _will_ kill plants. Dead grass is a sign of a leak. The dirt tends to turn a dark color, as I recall.
--
Steve B.
New Life Home Improvement
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Steve wrote:

Hi, NG is silent killer. Gas companies add smell for safety reasons. If in doubt check with your local gas company. I live in Alberta where oil and gas is abundant.
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raw gas does have a oily smell, as anyone who has smelled a gas well leak can tell you. the odorant isnt added till later
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.
easier and safer to cut stump off just under ground level, drill a few holes in what remains of stump, add rotting stuff, cover with dirt and grass.
mound soil a little over stump if you want.
hit any regroth with vegation killer......
why dig up a stump and endanger the gas line unnecessarily?
all hard work easier and best avoided
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