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Land Engineering at a Glance

To conduct a thorough plan review and construction inspection to ensure that any construction within the ROW does not in any way endanger, damage, or interfere with any SFPUC aqueduct, pipeline, appurtenance, or other facility.

LE evaluates all construction activities within the ROW.

Applicants must submit engineering plans for proposed construction to Land Engineering for review. The engineering plans must be prepared by a licensed engineer in the State of California, showing construction details, the SFPUC ROW boundary, and the pipeline and appurtenance locations.

This site will guide you through the Land Engineering Group (LE)'s engineering evaluation process. LE provides engineering evaluation for the use of the SFPUC right of ways (ROW), where water impoundment and transmission facilities are present.

LE typically issues the following types of permit work within SFPUC ROW based on property rights.

construction site

Consent for Pothole

Potholing is the process of digging up the surface above a pipeline to find the pipeline’s exact depth. Potholing is done prior to a planned installation near or over a SFPUC transmission pipeline. Pothole data is incorporated into the final design of the actual proposed work. LE will typically issue a written Potholing Consent approximately two weeks after receiving the complete information it requires.

Consent for Installation

All projects and activities on the SFPUC’s watershed and ROW lands in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda counties must first be reviewed by the SFPUC’s Project Review Committee. For more information about Project Review or to initiate the Project Review process, please click here.

Once a project has been reviewed, LE handles the Consent for Installation only in ROW where the SFPUC holds easement rights. For proposed installations where the SFPUC owns the ROW in fee, RES is responsible for issuing a lease or revocable license, after LE and other SFPUC divisions complete their respective evaluations.

In public rights-of-way where the SFPUC maintains underground facilities, LE will provide an engineering evaluation of proposed construction. This evaluation assists contractors in making sure their projects proceed smoothly, and at the same time protects SFPUC infrastructure and property. These projects are usually identified as Project Reviewed (PR), to distinguish them from consents that require a Certificate of Insurance.

After Consent, Lease, or License is issued, an applicant is required to submit a certificate of insurance prior to performing any work. Applicants should coordinate with LE Inspector Albert Hao. Contact him by email at or by phone at (650) 871-3015 for inspection of work throughout the duration of construction.

The LE group is located at 1000 El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA 94030, and is part of the Water Supply and Treatment Division. For questions, please contact Stacie Feng.

Utility Info Request Requirements

The following are the requirements needed to obtain SFPUC underground pipeline information in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Alameda Counties.

Potholing and Engineering Requirements

These are the requirements that apply to potholing and all other construction work within SFPUC property.

Project Review Committee

Upon successful completion of the project review process, the Committee will issue a certificate that will enable project managers to obtain access permits, if required.

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Last updated: 7/26/2018 11:12:37 AM