The Land Engineering Group (LE) provides engineering evaluation for the use of the SFPUC right of ways (ROW), where water impoundment and transmission facilities are present. LE typically issues the following types of permit work within SFPUC ROW based on property rights.
Consent for Pothole
Potholing is the process of digging up the surface above a pipeline to find the pipeline’s exact depth. Potholing is done prior to a planned installation near or over a SFPUC transmission pipeline. Pothole data is incorporated into the final design of the actual proposed work. LE will typically issue a written Potholing Consent approximately two weeks after receiving the complete information it requires.
Permit Application Requirements (Potholing)
Applicant is requested to submit the requirements listed below in parallel with the Project Review Application.
Submittal Requirements and Guidelines
All review requests must be supported with engineering drawings.
- Cover letter should include the following:
- requesting party’s name and address,
- name of project owner if different than requesting party,
- scope of work, and
- project location (closest address or landmark)
- Engineering drawings shall be prepared and signed by a professional engineer licensed by the State of California and submitted in size of 11”x17”. The drawings must include the following:
- vicinity map
- boundaries of the SFPUC rights-of-way (ROW) and pipelines
- plan and profile of proposed work within the SFPUC ROW
- All utilities crossing SFPUC pipelines must have a minimum clearance of (1') feet for open excavation, (2') feet for directional boring operation. All underground utility crossings shall be as close to perpendicular as possible to SFPUC pipelines. No utility is allowed to run parallel to SFPUC pipelines within the SFPUC ROW. No permanent structure is allowed on SFPUC right-of ways without written approval from Land Engineering.
- All sewer or recycled water pipeline crossings must comply with current State Code of Regulations from State Department of Public Health.
- Any metallic pipeline with cathodic protection crossing SFPUC pipelines are required to install test stations as shown on Attachment A-2.
- No equipment shall be allowed within the ROW unless the SFPUC pipeline is determined by potholing to be (4') feet or greater below grade. Maximum external loading over SFPUC pipelines is AASHTO H-10 loading with a minimum of (3') feet of cover (or H-20 loading with a minimum of (4') feet of cover). If the loading condition above is exceeded, engineering calculations as shown in AWWA, M9 may be required to show that the proposed condition would not impose a load of more than 500 PSF onto SFPUC pipelines. See Equipment and Vehicle Load Restrictions Policy.
- No vibratory compaction equipment shall be allowed without SFPUC’s prior written approval.
- For any mechanical excavation and grading over the pipeline, the last (2’) feet of soil around the pipeline shall be removed manually or by other methods approved by SFPUC.
- Landscaping or plantings must comply with Right of Way Vegetation Policy, if applicable.
- Cover letter should include the following:
Consent for Installation
All projects and activities on the SFPUC’s watershed and ROW lands in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties must first be reviewed by the SFPUC’s project review committee.
Once a project has been reviewed, LE handles the Consent for Installation only in ROW where the SFPUC holds easement rights. For proposed installations where the SFPUC owns the ROW in fee, RES is responsible for issuing a lease or revocable license, after LE and other SFPUC divisions complete their respective evaluations.
In public rights-of-way where the SFPUC maintains underground facilities, LE will provide an engineering evaluation of proposed construction. This evaluation assists contractors in making sure their projects proceed smoothly, and at the same time protects SFPUC infrastructure and property. These projects are usually identified as Project Reviewed (PR), to distinguish them from consents that require a Certificate of Insurance.
After Consent, Lease, or License is issued, an applicant is required to submit a certificate of insurance prior to performing any work. Applicants should coordinate with LE Inspector Albert Hao. Contact him by email at AHao@sfwater.org or by phone at (650) 871-3015 for inspection of work throughout the duration of construction.
For Land Engineering Evaluation, please send request to WSTDLandEngineering@sfwater.org.