We're working to keep gas and sewer lines clear and safe.
While most problems with sewer and septic lines at work or at home are caused by tree roots or line breaks, there is a chance that the problem may be caused by the inadvertent installation of a natural gas line through a sewer or septic line.
In 2010 we began a multi-year project to identify and correct any situations where a natural gas line had been inadvertently installed through a sewer or septic line. While a natural gas line intersecting a sewer or septic line poses no immediate danger, the equipment used to unclog sewer or septic lines can penetrate the natural gas line and lead to the dangerous release of natural gas.
As part of the sewer/septic line investigation project, we have done over 100,000 inspections since the project began in 2010.
We use underground “horizontal directional drilling” to install most natural gas lines beneath streets, driveways, and trees in order to minimize damage. This approach is commonly used in the utility industry because it has significantly less impact on the environment and our customers than open trenching.
Before horizontal directional drilling occurs, utility companies work to locate other underground services. However, many vintage sewer and septic lines are not “locatable” (identifiable from above ground), because they are made of clay and contain no tracer wire. In those cases, natural gas lines may have been inadvertently installed through a sewer or septic line.
Horizontal directional drilling practices have changed a great deal in recent years, and now use techniques that are able to detect contacts with sewer and septic lines at the time of the installation of a natural gas line.
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