Chapter 15.18


15.18.010    Definitions.

15.18.020    Construction, operation, maintenance and safety standards.

15.18.030    Inspection of gas distribution systems.

15.18.040    Testing of piping on construction.

15.18.050    Location of service shutoffs.

15.18.060    Pipes – Location and placement.

15.18.070    Protection and removal of utilities.

15.18.080    Trenches.

15.18.090    Water in trenches.

15.18.100    Breaking through pavement.

15.18.110    Tunnels.

15.18.120    Backfilling.

15.18.130    Protection of property.

15.18.140    Preservation of monuments.

15.18.150    Damage to existing improvements.

15.18.160    Property lines and easements – Construction limits.

15.18.170    Care of excavated material.

15.18.180    Interference with fire stations, hydrants, escapes and equipment – Prohibited.

15.18.190    Provision for watercourses.

15.18.200    Routing and maintenance of traffic during construction.

15.18.210    Insurance.

15.18.220    Violation – Penalty.

15.18.010 Definitions.

Terms used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section.

(1) “Distribution system” means any system of mains, pipes, service lines, regulators, meters, fixtures, connections and attachments used in the distribution of gas.

(2) “Gas” means natural, manufactured or mixed gas suitable for domestic or industrial fuel.

(3) “Public properties” means any street, alley, roadway, sidewalk, viaduct, highway, bridge, park drive or public ground open as a matter of right to public travel.

(4) “Permittee” means any person holding a franchise to distribute gas in the city.

(5) “Service line” means pipe, regulator and meter which conveys gas from a main or other distribution or transmission line to and on a customer’s premises.

(6) “Transmission system” means a system of pipelines installed to transmit gas from a source or sources of supply to one or more distribution centers or a pipe installed to interconnect sources of supply. [Ord. 751 § 1 – 5, 7, 8, 1975.]

15.18.020 Construction, operation, maintenance and safety standards.

The rules and regulations pertaining to “Gas Companies – Safety,” Chapter 480-93 WAC, as ordered by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission and in compliance with the provisions of Federal Standards, CFR 49 Part 192, “Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline”: Minimum Federal Standards, as developed and issued by the Office of Pipeline Safety, Department of Transportation, under Public Law 90-481, and all subsequent additions, deletions or amendments thereto when appropriately authorized, issued and made official by the Office of Pipeline Safety, Department of Transportation, are each hereby adopted by reference as standards for gas installations in the city; provided, that in the event any of the rules and regulations or the Minimum Federal Standards should conflict, the Minimum Federal Natural Gas Pipeline Safety Standards shall govern. [Ord. 751 § 9, 1975.]

15.18.030 Inspection of gas distribution systems.

All construction of a gas distribution or transmission system shall be inspected by the gas inspector for the permittee. [Ord. 751 § 10, 1975.]

15.18.040 Testing of piping on construction.

Before any newly constructed distribution or transmission system is placed in service, it shall be tested by the permittee in conformity with the codes adopted by this chapter. [Ord. 751 § 11, 1975.]

15.18.050 Location of service shutoffs.

Service shutoffs shall be installed on all new services, including replacements, at the curb or property line for each service, or at an easily accessible place on the outside of the building served. If the latter method is used, such service shall not enter a building directly without coming above ground. [Ord. 751 § 12, 1975.]

15.18.060 Pipes – Location and placement.

All mains shall be laid in alleys or easements whenever possible, or at locations generally on the south and west sides of streets and alleys. Mains shall have a lateral clearance not less than four feet from water mains and 12 inches from any other subsurface structure; provided, that under exceptional circumstances, the city may authorize less clearance. Mains shall have a vertical clearance of 12 inches when crossing another pipe. Mains shall be laid with a cover not less than 30 inches, except under unusual circumstances less coverage may be used. Where the trench is in rock, the cover may be 24 inches if the main is properly cushioned as required in CMC 15.08.080. Where the trench is in a parking strip, the cover may be 18 inches. In the event interference with other subsurface structures makes it impractical to maintain the depths specified in this section, the city may permit gas pipelines and mains to be constructed so as to avoid such subsurface structures. Minimum depth of service lines shall be 12 inches at the service terminal and shall normally slope to required depth at the main. No person shall install a gas service line on the consumer’s premises in the same ditch as the water service line without written approval by the city. [Ord. 751 § 13, 1975.]

15.18.070 Protection and removal of utilities.

The permittee shall inform himself as to the existence and location of any underground utilities and protect the same against damage.

The permittee shall be responsible for any damage done to any public or private property by reason of the breaking of any water pipe, sewer, gas pipe, electric conduit or other utility.

The permittee shall support and protect, by timbers or otherwise, all pipes, conduits, poles, wires or other apparatus which may be in any way affected by the construction or maintenance work, and do everything necessary to support, sustain and protect the same under, over, along or across the work. In case any of the pipes, conduits, poles, wires or apparatus should be damaged, they shall be repaired by the authorities having control of the same. The expense of such repairs shall be charged to the permittee.

If it should be necessary to move an existing utility, the work shall be done by the owner of such utility. Whenever the permittee’s utility interferes with the actual construction of any public improvement, such utility shall be moved by the permittee. No utility, either publicly or privately owned, shall be moved to accommodate the permittee unless the cost of such work is borne by the permittee. [Ord. 751 § 14, 1975.]

15.18.080 Trenches.

Trenches shall not be excavated more than 300 feet in advance of pipe laying, nor left unfilled for more than 700 feet where pipe has been laid, except by permission from the city. The length of the trench that may be opened at any time shall not be greater than the length of pipe and the necessary accessories which are available to the site ready to put in place. The completed trench shall be kept not less than 30 feet ahead of the pipe layers. Trenches shall be at least six inches wider on each side or a total width of 12 inches more than the exterior diameter of the pipe, except where pipes are four inches or less in diameter. Wherever excavation is made in rock, a minimum of six inches of noncorrosive soil, sands or fines of existing soils shall be used as a padding beneath the pipe and an additional six inches above the pipe.

Excavation for manholes and other structures shall be sufficient to leave at least 12 inches between their outer surfaces and the sides of the excavation. [Ord. 751 § 15, 1975.]

15.18.090 Water in trenches.

The permittee shall pump, bail or otherwise remove any water which accumulates in trenches. Dewatering trenches may be accomplished in any manner approved by the city. Water shall not be permitted in trenches at any time during construction nor until backfilling over the top of the pipe has been completed unless otherwise specifically permitted by the city. The groundwater level in trenches shall not be permitted to rise above an elevation of six inches below the pipe. The permittee shall perform all work necessary to keep the trenches clear of water while the foundations and masonry are being constructed or the pipe laid. [Ord. 751 § 16, 1975.]

15.18.100 Breaking through pavement.

Whenever it is necessary to break through existing pavement for the purpose of constructing gas service facilities, and where trenches are to be four feet or over in depth, the pavement and the base shall be removed to at least six inches beyond the outer limits of the subgrade that is to be disturbed in order to prevent settlement. A six-inch shoulder of undisturbed material shall be provided on each side of the excavated trench. The face of the remaining pavement shall be approximately vertical. [Ord. 751 § 17, 1975.]

15.18.110 Tunnels.

Tunnels under pavement shall not be permitted except by permission of the city and, if permitted, shall be adequately supported by timbering and backfilling under the direction of the gas inspector. [Ord. 751 § 18, 1975.]

15.18.120 Backfilling.

Backfilling in all public streets and improved areas, both public and private, shall be completed to a degree equivalent to that of the undisturbed ground in which the trench was dug. Compacting shall be done by mechanical tampers or vibrators, or by rolling in layers as required by the soil in question. [Ord. 751 § 19, 1975.]

15.18.130 Protection of property.

The permittee shall, at his own expense, shore up and protect all buildings, walls, fences or other property likely to be damaged during the progress of the construction or maintenance work and shall be responsible for all damage to public or private property. Wherever it may be necessary for the permittee to trench through any lawn area, the sod shall be carefully cut and rolled and replaced after ditches have been backfilled, and the area restored as nearly as possible to its original condition.

The permittee shall not remove, even temporarily, any trees or shrubs which exist in parking strip areas or easements across private property without first having notified the property owner, or, in the case of public parks, the city park department. [Ord. 751 § 20, 1975.]

15.18.140 Preservation of monuments.

The permittee shall not disturb any surface monuments or hubs found on the line of the improvements unless authorized by the city. [Ord. 751 § 21, 1975.]

15.18.150 Damage to existing improvements.

All damage done to existing improvements during the progress of construction or maintenance work shall be repaired by the permittee. Materials for such repair shall conform to the requirements of applicable ordinances. If, upon being ordered, the permittee fails to furnish the necessary labor and materials for such repairs, the city may cause the necessary labor and materials to be furnished by other parties, and the cost thereof shall be charged against the permittee. [Ord. 751 § 22, 1975.]

15.18.160 Property lines and easements – Construction limits.

Property lines and limits of easements shall be indicated on the plans. It shall be the permittee’s responsibility to confine his construction activities within these limits. Any damage resulting from trespassing beyond these limits shall be the sole responsibility of the permittee. [Ord. 751 § 23, 1975.]

15.18.170 Care of excavated material.

All material excavated from trenches and piles adjacent to the trench or in highways shall be piled and maintained in such a manner that the toe of the slope of the excavated material is at least 18 inches from the edge of the trench. When the confines of the area through which the gas pipes are to be laid are too narrow to permit the piling of excavated material beside the trench, the permittee may be required to haul excavated material to a storage site and then rehaul it to the trench site at the time of backfilling. It shall be the permittee’s responsibility to secure the necessary permission and make all necessary arrangements for all storage and disposal sites required. [Ord. 751 § 24, 1975.]

15.18.180 Interference with fire stations, hydrants, escapes and equipment – Prohibited.

The work shall be conducted so as not to interfere with access to fire stations or fire hydrants. Material or obstruction shall not be placed within 15 feet of fire hydrants. Passageways leading to fire escapes or firefighting equipment shall be kept free of material piles or other obstructions. [Ord. 751 § 25, 1975.]

15.18.190 Provision for watercourses.

The permittee shall provide for the flow of all watercourses, sewers or drains intercepted during the progress of the work and shall replace the same in as good condition as it found them or shall make final provisions for them as the city may direct. The permittee shall not obstruct the gutter of any street, but shall use all proper measures to provide for the free passage of surface water.

The permittee shall make provisions to take care of all surplus water, mud, silt, or other runoff pumped from excavations or resulting from sluicing or other operations and shall be responsible for any damage resulting from its failure so to provide. [Ord. 751 § 26, 1975.]

15.18.200 Routing and maintenance of traffic during construction.

During construction, traffic shall be maintained at all times so as to cause as little inconvenience as possible to the occupants of abutting property and to the general public; provided, that the city may permit the closing of public properties to all traffic for a designated period of time, if necessary. Before any public property may be closed or restricted to traffic, the permittee must obtain the approval of the city and notify the chief of the fire department and the chief of the police department. The permittee shall route and control all traffic, including its own vehicles, as directed by the chief of the police department. Upon completion of construction work, the chief of the police department and the chief of the fire department shall again be notified before traffic is returned to its normal route. Where flagmen are deemed necessary by the chief of the police department, they shall be furnished by the permittee at his expense.

Through traffic shall be maintained without detours if possible. When it is necessary to construct a detour, the permittee shall construct same at his expense. The permittee will be responsible for any unnecessary damage caused to any public properties by the operation of his equipment.

The permittee shall erect and maintain suitable timber barriers to confine earth from trenches or other excavations in order to minimize encroachment upon highways. The permittee shall construct and maintain adequate and safe crossings over excavations and across highways during construction to accommodate vehicular and pedestrian traffic at all street intersections, under the supervision of the city. Decking shall be not less than four inches thick and shall be securely fastened together with heavy wire and staples. Pedestrian crossings shall consist of planking three inches thick, 12 inches wide and of length required, together with necessary blocking. The walk shall not be less than four feet wide and shall be provided with a railing if required by the city. [Ord. 751 § 27, 1975.]

15.18.210 Insurance.

The permittee shall have and maintain in force adequate public liability and property damage insurance, which insurance may contain a self-insured deductible amount as shall be approved by the city council. [Ord. 751 § 28, 1975.]

15.18.220 Violation – Penalty.

Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine in any sum not exceeding $300.00, by imprisonment in the city jail for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. [Ord. 751 § 29, 1975.]