I have a 4000 square meter land that contains my house, trees and vegetables and I use many water pipes in it.

I have a main water pipe that comes from the main pipe from the street that crosses all of the land and then I have several other pipes that provide water to the house, plants, trees etc.

My problem is that every pipe is on the ground that they might cause problems for the kids playing around and it looks ugly and unorganised. I don't put them in the ground because the tractor that comes once in a while might break the pipes if the driver cannot see them.

What is the best way to deal with this? I have thought of digging 10cm and cover with white rock so it looks nice but I am not sure if this is the right way, could you suggest something that is safe and good looking too?

  • What is the pipe made of? Metal, plastic? How about a picture?
    – kevinskio
    Aug 10, 2019 at 11:37
  • There is a great amount of drain tile pipe buried on agricultural land in the US ; generally about 3 ft deep ( 100 cm) . That is generally successful. Aug 10, 2019 at 15:14
  • @kevinsky It's plastic Aug 10, 2019 at 16:27
  • @blacksmith37 I cannot afford to bury this 1 meter, I will do that by hand so 10-15 cm is enough I can get Aug 10, 2019 at 16:28
  • Burying the pipes 10-15 cm is just wasting your time, money, and effort if you do the work yourself. You can't grow anything above the pipes without the risk of damaging them. Heavy vehicles still pose a risk of damaging them. And if you cover all the pipe runs with "white rock" the area will still look an untidy mess of white lines (and with invasive weeds growing through the rock as well). Either bury them deep enough to ignore them from then on (in the UK, the regulations say 2 feet or 60cm) or don't bother to do anything..
    – alephzero
    Aug 10, 2019 at 18:52

2 Answers 2


You can dig and bury the pipes, but about how: it depends on many factors:

  • Do you need to bury also pipes for the tap water to home? In this case ask your municipality for rules. Often there are requirements, either to reduce damage from frozen water, or (in warmer climate) to reduce water loss (less damage). Often 50 to 60 cm is the minimum, but you can have rules on digging further and having 10 to 20 cm of sand or other material which will help displacing pressure of heavy object passing other it. (Rock could damage pipe). Note: there could be rules also about distance to sewage pipes and distances to trees. Note: on very sandy soils, you may need to put some concrete pipe to protect pipes (else they will move, and they will be not happy with heavy load about them).

  • For irrigation (main pipes): you may have more freedom, but if the pipes are in pressure all year around, you may still need to apply the residential regulations. If you have accessible valves (or automatic valves) before going underground, you may dig less: 20-25 cm should be ok. The rules usually do not apply (easy to see and block water). In this case, depending on soil, I would possibly put also a metal half-pipe, or something that will help to distribute pressure outside (and to keep pipes not moving) above the pipe, where tractors will pass (still 20-25 cm deep).

    Gardena has a trick (you may look they catalog for ideas): they put pipes below lawn, but they attach them with short garden hoses to "fix" pipes, so that you may skip all regulations. Such catalog has also some tips about the deep. Possibly the catalog in your country will have localized tips.

    Just I recommend you to install backflow preventer in relevant place(s): you really do not want that dirt (from irrigation pipes) enter in your potable water pipes (health, but also sand can damage your home appliances).

  • For irrigation (final pipes), you may dig at any deep. If the pipes are porous, or let water to exit, you should not dig deep, or the soil pressure will block water. These are small and more flexible pipes, and often not filled with water, so less problem on weight above them. Additionally, because they water your garden, will remember were such pipe are (greener lines, and you may see water from time to time), so less risk to damage them.


A bit late, but for others. I have seen two ways of doing this

  1. Embed the pipe in very fine gravel. In NZ, they use what's called scoria - it's a fluffy volcanic rock and not very hard. You fill a layer of scoria in, place the pipe and then backfill scoria all around it. I guess, this allows the pressure from a tractor wheel to spread over an area.
  2. Place pieces of flat treated timber such as 6-inch by 1/2 or 3/4 inch boards on top of the pipe. Again, I guess it spreads the pressure over a wider area.
  • Sounds like a good idea, thanks Jul 8, 2023 at 12:29

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