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10.1: Planning

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    Planning is important in many aspects of ones life. From planning out your day to planning out a career path, planning is an important step before tackling many different projects. Just as there are various simplicities and complexities to planning in your personal life, the same can be said in the business world. An example of this is building a water treatment plant. This is one of the more complex examples requiring many different phases of planning. A simpler project, which still requires planning, is the construction of a pipeline installation. Let’s take a closer look at several planning steps to a small pipeline installation project.

    Pipeline Installation Project Planning


    Any project requires a budget process. There are many different expenses for water utility jobs such as labor, equipment, material, traffic control, disposal, and a variety of other types of costs. Before proceeding with any project, a budget needs to be prepared and staff needs to determine if there is enough money for the project.


    Any time a construction project is planned there are various environmental review procedures that must be followed. Will there be any environmental impacts such as air, water, noise, or biological species. Some projects are considered small enough to be exempt, while other larger projects may require extensive environmental impact reports.


    When will the project be started and completed? Are there enough staff resources available? Water utility operators are very busy and each project needs to have a protect timeline identifying the required resources and expected start and end dates to avoid conflicts.


    In order to properly construct a project there needs to be a minimum amount of engineering work. Some projects, such as water system repairs can require little to no engineering work. While other projects might require extensive engineering design and oversight. Most pipeline construction projects require at least some type of engineering work.

    The above examples are by no means an exhausted list. However, it does give a good example of the complexities of water utility construction projects.


    Stationing is a process to measure distances on construction plans. A “station” is the horizontal measurement distance along a surveyed centerline of a project. Station numbers typically increase from the beginning of a project to the end point of a project. They usually reference points from south to north or from west to east. Station intervals are expressed in 100-foot sections. A half station is 50 feet and is expressed as +50.

    In order to understand sectioning, take a look at a few examples below:

    Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    If a station begins at “0” it is expressed as 0+00. One hundred feet from this station would be expressed as 1+00.

    One foot sections increase as 0+01. Therefore, after ten feet, it would look like this 0+10.

    The difference between station 101+00 and 100+00 is 100 feet.

    If the beginning of a set of construction water plans start at station 100+00 and a valve is located at station 100+99 means the valve is located 99 feet from the start of the plans.

    The following is an example of someone calculating the distance between two fire hydrants on a set of construction water plans.

    Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    Fire hydrant A is located at station 530+50

    Fire hydrant B is located at station 527+00

    What is the distance between fire hydrant A and B?


    53,050 – 52,700 = 350 feet

    As previously stated, stations typically reference points from south to north and from west to east. However, streets sometimes curve and change directions. An “above” segment on a road simply means a direction toward a higher station. A segment below or behind means a direction toward a lower station number.

    Exercise 10.1

    1. A set of construction water plans shows stationing to mark locations. The start of the plans has a station number of 01+50. The first fire hydrant on the plans is located at station 01+25. How many feet is the fire hydrant located from the start of the plans?
    2. A water utility requires fire hydrants to be located 350 feet apart in residential areas. If a street is 1,500 feet long, begins at station 101+55 and the first fire hydrant is located at the start, how many fire hydrants will be installed?
    3. A water valve is located at station 345+03 and another at 350+08. What is the distance between the two valves?
    4. A domestic water service is located at station 102+45. Two more services need to be installed, one 75 below and one 75 above this station. What is the station of these two new services?

    Fire hydrant located at 534+00

    Valve located at 534+45

    Water service located at 532+99

    What is the total distance between these items?

    10.1: Planning is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.