Add containment association rules

Containment association rules constrain which types of features and objects can be contained in another feature or object (container). If modifications are made to the asset group and asset type attributes for a network feature participating in a containment association, edits are evaluated against the existing rule base during enable or validate network topology operations. If there is no rule to support the association, an error is returned.

Containment rules do not support terminals and can be added to a utility network using the Add Rule tool. Rules can also be added in bulk using the Import Rules tool.

Network rules are stored at the utility network level. This allows you to contain features and objects from different domain networks in the same container, for example, gas pipes and water mains in the same trench.

The rule base for a utility network can be viewed in the network properties.


To create a containment association rule, the following requirements must be met:

Create a containment association rule

To create a containment association rule, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Analysis tab, in the Geoprocessing group, click Tools Tools to open the Geoprocessing pane.
  2. In the Geoprocessing pane, search for and click Add Rule.
  3. For the Input Utility Network parameter, enter the utility network receiving the rule.
  4. From the Rule Type drop-down list, choose Containment.
  5. For the From Table parameter, choose the container feature class or table.
  6. For the From Asset Group parameter, choose the asset group.
  7. For the From Asset Type parameter, choose the asset type.
  8. For the To Table parameter, choose the content feature class or table.
  9. For the To Asset Group parameter, choose the asset group.
  10. For the To Asset Type parameter, choose the asset type.
  11. Click Run.
  12. A containment association rule is added to your utility network's rule set. To reflect this change in your network, enable the network topology.


    When working with an enterprise geodatabase, network rules are managed through a database connection to the default branch version. The utility network service should be stopped before you add or delete a network rule. Changes are acknowledged after the service and ArcGIS Pro session have been restarted. Updates to the utility network rules are not reflected in existing named versions until a reconcile operation is performed.