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#4722730 - 04/10/18 12:48 PM Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road
Kestas Online   content



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12221
Loc: The Motor City
A work crew is laying blue and orange plastic pipe next to our street where I work. It's not the first time I'm seeing this type of work. What is this for?

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#4722736 - 04/10/18 12:54 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3994
Loc: Lakeville, MN
Does it come on a big spool? If so, the orange is likely fiber optic cables. Blue is usually water pipe/main.

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#4722741 - 04/10/18 12:57 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: MNgopher]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 710
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Agreed, conduit that follows the APWA colour code is coloured as follows:

Red = Electrical
Orange = Telecommunications
Yellow = Natural Gas
Blue = Potable Water
Green = Sewage or Geothermal

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#4722746 - 04/10/18 01:04 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Number_35]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3666
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: Number_35
Agreed, conduit that follows the APWA colour code is coloured as follows:

Red = Electrical
Orange = Telecommunications
Yellow = Natural Gas
Blue = Potable Water
Green = Sewage or Geothermal

I've seen the local water utility and city public works still use black iron pipe for sewage.

Also, you forgot purple(really lavender) for reclaimed/non-potable water.

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#4722756 - 04/10/18 01:15 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
kschachn Offline


Registered: 12/26/05
Posts: 9110
Loc: Upper Midwest
They have been laying that here too but the blue and green conduit is the same size and type as the orange fiber optic conduit. They aren't running sewer nor water pipe (those are in the road, these are on the side), I wondered too what the blue and green stuff is for.

It's like this, all the same size:

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#4722761 - 04/10/18 01:23 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: nthach]
Number_35 Offline


Registered: 07/07/14
Posts: 710
Loc: Winnipeg MB CA
Originally Posted By: nthach
Originally Posted By: Number_35
Agreed, conduit that follows the APWA colour code is coloured as follows:

Red = Electrical
Orange = Telecommunications
Yellow = Natural Gas
Blue = Potable Water
Green = Sewage or Geothermal

I've seen the local water utility and city public works still use black iron pipe for sewage.

Also, you forgot purple(really lavender) for reclaimed/non-potable water.

APWA Color Code

Thanks, I didn't know about the purple pipe - that's my new bit of knowledge for the day.

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#4722766 - 04/10/18 01:29 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
JTK Offline


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10417
Loc: Buffalo, NY
Funny you should mention that. On a recent family trip to south Florida, I noticed all kinds of crazy colored plastic pipe at roadside construction sites, including purple.
Thanks for the link above! I see it's for "reclaimed water".


Edited by JTK (04/10/18 01:31 PM)
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#4722784 - 04/10/18 01:55 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
zorobabel Online   content


Registered: 01/27/11
Posts: 437
Loc: Anaheim, CA
Blue and orange pipe is definitely used by the NSA smile
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#4722789 - 04/10/18 02:00 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
Pike51 Offline


Registered: 07/09/17
Posts: 78
Loc: GA
We don't talk about the blue colored pipe.
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#4722799 - 04/10/18 02:12 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
MNgopher Offline


Registered: 09/17/02
Posts: 3994
Loc: Lakeville, MN
And odds are if its all going into a common trench that the blue and orange are both telecommuncations cables of some sort. While orange is the typically used color, there is no mandate that has has to be any particular color for install, and for an install in common trench, color coding the cables is smart so you can figure out if you are working on the right one...

Now if those cables need to be marked, they are all marked using orange paint and flags, regardless of the actual cable color.

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#4722937 - 04/10/18 05:50 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: MNgopher]
Vern_in_IL Online   mad


Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 1825
Loc: IL
Originally Posted By: MNgopher
And odds are if its all going into a common trench that the blue and orange are both telecommuncations cables of some sort. While orange is the typically used color, there is no mandate that has has to be any particular color for install, and for an install in common trench, color coding the cables is smart so you can figure out if you are working on the right one...

Now if those cables need to be marked, they are all marked using orange paint and flags, regardless of the actual cable color.


The blue could be "dark fiber" 4 years ago AT&T ran new cable route with two trenches and three orange tubes in each trench! Manholes every mile or so behind my property.

They were all orange.


Edited by Vern_in_IL (04/10/18 05:51 PM)
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#4722973 - 04/10/18 06:32 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
eljefino Offline


Registered: 06/15/03
Posts: 32379
Loc: ME
The backhoe is the expensive part of telecommunications. They should lay plenty of "dark fiber" to future-proof.

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#4722986 - 04/10/18 06:44 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
Linctex Offline


Registered: 12/31/16
Posts: 5706
Loc: Waco, TX
Originally Posted By: Number_35
Agreed, conduit that follows the APWA colour code is coloured as follows:

Red = Electrical
Orange = Telecommunications
Yellow = Natural Gas
Blue = Potable Water
Green = Sewage or Geothermal


Interesting... didn't know about red and green.

I have LOTS of pieces of blue and yellow... some almost 100' long.

They just trash whatever is left over after a job is done (contract fulfilled)
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#4722999 - 04/10/18 06:57 PM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Kestas]
Blaze Offline


Registered: 12/31/10
Posts: 1357
Loc: Washington State (East)
Recently around my area they are laying miles of that orange conduit. Its for fiber optic and yes I'm still on dial-up here.

Refuse to pay for satellite and cell service is a 1500 ft climb to the hill behind my barn.

Fiber optic all around me and 1800's communications at my house. So disappointing, over 20 yrs on dial-up so I stick to text only sites like BTOG.

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#4723499 - 04/11/18 10:55 AM Re: Blue and Orange pipe being laid next to road [Re: Number_35]
PSS Offline


Registered: 03/10/05
Posts: 162
Loc: NW Indiana
Originally Posted By: Number_35
Agreed, conduit that follows the APWA colour code is coloured as follows:

Red = Electrical
Orange = Telecommunications
Yellow = Natural Gas
Blue = Potable Water
Green = Sewage or Geothermal


Those are the colors painted/used to mark the locations. NOT necessarily the color of the buried utility.

Plastic stuff is usually died for easy ID like plastic yellow gas pipe but can be black iron pipe.


Edited by PSS (04/11/18 11:00 AM)

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