This Week’s Subject: Yellow Warning Tape

Dear Joe: Is the yellow warning tape a regulatory requirement for plastic pipe installation? I’ve seen jobs where it’s not installed.

That’s right. While locate wire for direct buried polyethylene (PE) pipeline is required by regulatory code, yellow warning tape is not. But most companies install the warning tape approximately 12 inches above the PE facility for open trench installations. Yellow warning tape displays a message (for example, “Caution: Gas Line Buried Below”). The warning tape serves as a first alert to an excavator to proceed with caution while digging to prevent third-party pipe damage.

Tip: And those jobs where you’ve seen no warning tape installed? You may be referring to horizontal directional drilling (HDD) installations. It’s not possible to install the tape 12 inches above the PE pipe because HDD involves installation through a single bore hole. Also, warning tape would not be needed for PE pipe installed inside steel or cast iron casing pipe-but it could be installed at any exposed PE tie-in points.

Dear Joe – You’re from Chicago –  Do you think the Cubs have what it takes to win the pennant this year?

Tom Wivinis
WEC Energy Group

Dear Tom – Of course they do! Their 100 year (or more) development plan is right on track!


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