My lawn retains a lot of water and I've read that using a fork to put holes in can help.

I've already started but I'm afraid to go too deep just incase i got a pipe.

How can i work out where the pipes are?

  • What sort of pipes are you concerned about? Lawn-sprinklers? Electricity? Sewage? The critical ones should be a lot deeper than the length of a tine of a typical garden-fork. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 10:35
  • I assumed the sewage could be close enough to the surface to cause damage to.
    – Terry
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 10:38
  • What country are you located in?
    – DaveM
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 23:16
  • @davem I'm in England.
    – Terry
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 12:55
  • Just a follow up as to why I asked your location; in the US we typically have services, in Massachusetts its called "Dig Safe", that we are encouraged to call and someone will come out and "scan" the property for your buried utilities; Water, gas, electric, telephone, etc. and mark them for you or your contractors. I have managed to cut my phone line because of some confusion (two lines wrong one active)
    – DaveM
    Commented Jun 10, 2017 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


In typical UK homes, critical infrastructure, like electrical power, gas, water and sewage should be deep enough that there is no danger of hitting it with a garden fork from the surface. About two or three feet would be typical I believe. You can check the depth of your sewer pipes at the manhole located near your home.

For example, according to Anglian Water

There is a minimum and maximum depth at which service pipes should be laid:

Minimum depth is 750 mm
Maximum depth is 1350 mm

750mm is about 2½ feet.

In other countries the situation may differ of course. If you have a very old home or unusual terrain you might need to take more care.

In addition, I don't think you could realistically puncture any of these with a manually operated garden fork. I assume you have not sharpened the tines and are not using a club hammer to force the fork into your lawn.

Tracing underground services from the surface needs expensive specialised equipment (random example, another) which can be hired (random example).


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