“Determining What’s Underground in Front Yard”

by Prince Of Petworth April 26, 2016 at 2:00 pm 13 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Erinn Shirley

“I have a manhole in my front yard, and I am looking to plant a tree, but I have no idea how big the room under the manhole is or whether there are other pipes, etc. under my front yard. How would I go about finding out that information? Any help would be appreciated.”

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  • Timebomb
    • Tsar of Truxton


  • dat

    Call Miss Utility and get your utility lines marked.

    • ah


  • HaileUnlikely

    I am not sure who to call, but when I had two trees planted in my yard by Casey Trees through the RiverSmart Homes program, Casey Trees called some contractor who somehow found out where underground utilities were and marked their location with spraypaint a couple days before they came to dig the holes and plant the trees.

    • Tsar of Truxton

      Interesting. I talked to Casey Trees and they told me to find out.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Huh, weird. Anyway, having seen the posts above mine, which were not yet visible when I was writing mine, it was Miss Utility that Casey Trees called to check. I generally find the people at Casey Trees like to be helpful to like-minded people who want to plant trees, so I’m surprised they didn’t at least tell you where to call. (I think they just took care of it because I was going through the RiverSmart program, where you just pay $50 and they take care of everything else.)

        • Tsar of Truxton

          That is what I am doing too! Oh well.

  • mth

    Yeah, definitely call. Washington Gas was doing some work on our street they dug up my yard. I had no idea there was gas line running down the side of my house to connect to the kitchen of my neighbor. I would not have liked to hit that line while digging.

  • mk
  • dcd

    Personhole. Get with the times.

    • jim_ed

      Well played.

  • Waterfront

    Miss Utility will tell you where the lines are. However, to find out the dimensions of the actual manhole call DC Water. They may be able to lookup what you have and have a sense of the actual size. (They can be really big) They will know the actual depth to inlets and outflows, for sure.

    DC Water permits is where you are looking to call…they’re physically located in the same building as the DCRA not at Blue Plains. Try 202-646-8600 and tell them what you want to know. They’re typically really nice and helpful and (sometimes….ok, that was harsh…many times) have lots of data.


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