Benton Gas System • 201 Main Street • Benton, KY 42025 • Phone 270-527-3717  -  gasinfo@bentongas.org 

Public Awareness

 Natural gas is a naturally abundant gas found deep beneath the earth’s surface. It is odorless and colorless and produces very few emissions. It is also considered the cleanest fuel because of its clean-burning qualities.

 Natural gas is the most popular energy used for home heating. Its uses are expanding to electrical power generation, cooling and fuel transportation, due to its ease of use and its positive environmental qualities.

 The natural gas delivery system has the best safety record of all energy delivery systems. This flyer will provide you with important safety information about natural gas.

 U.S. Department of Transportation’s guidelines require your Gas Distribution Company to make you aware of certain safety recommendations regarding your underground natural gas piping. Gas Distribution Companies do not maintain gas piping past the customer’s gas meter. Piping beyond the customer’s gas meter is the responsibility of the customer. Buried customer piping, if not properly maintained, may be subject to corrosion and/or leakage. Your buried piping should be checked periodically to ensure continued safety and reliable operation. You (or the building owner) are advised to contact a licensed contractor to assist you in locating and inspecting your buried gas piping. Should an unsafe condition be discovered, repairs should be made immediately.

The Popular Choice

 According to statistics from the National Transportation Safety Board, natural gas pipelines and mains are the safest method of transportation. Natural gas provides about 24 percent of all the energy used in the United States. Gas Utilities serve more than 60 million residential, commercial and industrial customers through underground pipelines.

 The Safety Commitment

 It is extremely unlikely a gas leak will occur, but you should always be prepared. Natural gas is extremely flammable and if released and contacted by any source of ignition will ignite, and possibly explode.

 We are committed to protecting you, your property and the environment, and by implementing programs like these we are better equipped to detect the possibility of a leak happening prior to it actually occurring. These safety guidelines will provide you with important information to help you avoid dangerous activities that could lead to a gas leak, and what steps to take if a natural gas leak were to occur.

 Using the latest technology, security and industry practices, natural gas pipelines and mains are monitored to maintain service and safety. Natural gas companies execute many programs to ensure your safety, including:

  • Design and construction, planning with local agencies
  • Monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Integrity Management Programs for transmission pipelines
  • Inspection and patrol, by aerial and foot
  • Emergency Responder and Excavator Training Programs
  • Public Awareness and Damage Prevention Programs
  • Coordination and communication with police and fire officials

 Pipeline Marker Information

 Pipeline markers are another important safety precaution. Since pipelines are buried underground, pipeline markers are used to help in their identification. Pipeline markers are found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway or railway. Be aware of any pipeline markers in your neighborhood. Write down the natural gas operator’s name and phone number in case of an emergency. While markers are helpful, they provide very limited information. Markers DO show: The approximate location of the pipelines - the product being transported - the natural gas operator’s name and the emergency phone number. Markers DO NOT show: The depth of the pipelines - the number of pipelines - the exact location of the pipelines.

 Information for Emergency Officials

Take whatever steps necessary to protect the public during a pipeline emergency. The following suggestions are offered only as a guide.

Secure the area around the leak.

  • This could include evacuating people from homes, businesses, schools and other locations.
  • This could include erecting barricades to prevent access to the emergency site.

Take steps to prevent ignition of a pipeline leak.

  • This could include rerouting traffic, shutting off electricity and residential gas supply by qualified individuals.
  • This could include preventing ignition sources from entering the emergency site.

Contact the natural gas operator.

  • Contact the natural gas operator as quickly as possible.
  • Pipeline markers provide the company name, phone number and product.
  • Do not operate any valves; this action could escalate the emergency.
  • The natural gas operator will dispatch personnel to help and aid the response to the emergency.
  • The natural gas operator’s personnel will take the necessary actions, such as starting and stopping pumps, opening or closing valves, and                          similar steps to minimize the impact of the situation.

Pipeline companies will make their Emergency Spill Response Plan information available to Emergency Responders upon request.

 

911 Telecommunication

911 Dispatch personnel play a critical role in effective response to pipeline incidents. Knowing the companies, their contact information and the products transported in your respective jurisdiction is important for prompt and correct responses in the case of a pipeline incident. Dispatchers actions can save lives, direct the appropriate emergency responders to the scene, and protect our nations’ infrastructure from additional issues that can be caused by improper response.

USE YOUR SENSES

Recognizing a Suspected Leak

 Using your sense of sight, sound and smell will help you recognize a suspected leak. Here’s what you should look for.

SIGHT - Natural gas is colorless, but vapor and “ground frosting” may be visible at high pressures. A gas leak may also be indicated by bubbles in wet or flooded areas, distinct patches of dead vegetation, dust blowing from a hole in the ground or flames if a leak is ignited.

SOUND - A hissing or roaring noise along the right-of-way of a pipeline could also indicate a natural gas leak.

SMELL - Transmission natural gas has a stale petroleum / hydrocarbon smell. Before it is delivered to your home, natural gas has mercaptan added which gives the gas a Sulfur or “rotten egg” smell to help detect leaks. If the gas is from an underground leak, the odorant may be filtered out by the ground.

What you should DO if a leak occurs

 DO leave the home, building and area of the suspected leak, and get to a safe area. DO call 911 and the pipeline company from a safe distance. DO warn others to stay out of the area.

What you should NOT DO if a leak occurs

 DO NOT touch, breathe or make contact with the leak. DO NOT light a match, turn light switches on or off, use a cell or home phone, or do anything to create a spark. DO NOT attempt to extinguish any fire. DO NOT attempt to operate any valves.

Ensure Your Safety

 The leading cause of damage to buried pipelines is the failure to call and obtain the pipelines’ exact location. Damage to pipelines – such as a scratch, gouge, crease or dent – may cause a leak.

 Before you start any excavation activity on your property, you are required by state law to call 811 or your State One-Call Notification Center. Natural gas operators will mark the location of their lines at no cost to you.

 Excavation activities can be as simple as planting a tree, installing landscaping, building a fence or installing a swimming pool.

 811 is the federally-mandated number designated by the FCC to consolidate all local “Call Before You Dig” numbers and help save lives by minimizing damages to underground utilities. One easy FREE phone call to 811 starts the process to get your underground pipelines and utility lines marked. When you call 811 from anywhere in the country, your call will be routed to your State One-Call Center. Once your underground lines are marked for your project, you will know the approximate location of your pipelines and utility lines, and can dig safely.

More information regarding 811 can be found at www.call811.com.

     Excavators must notify the pipeline company through the One-Call Center immediately but not later than two hours following the damage incident.

Transmission Pipeline Mapping

 The National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS) is a geographic information system (GIS) created by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Office of Pipeline Safety (OPS) in cooperation with other federal and state governmental agencies and the pipeline industry to provide information about pipeline operators and their pipelines. The NPMS web site is searchable by ZIP code or by county and state, and can display a county map that is printable.

 Within the NPMS, PHMSA has developed the Pipeline Integrity Management Mapping Application (PIMMA) for use by pipeline operators and Federal, State, and Local Government officials only. The application contains sensitive pipeline infrastructure information that can be viewed via internet browsers. PIMMA access cannot be given to any person who is not a direct employee of a government agency.

 For a list of pipeline operators with pipelines in your area and their contact information or to apply for PIMMA access, go to www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov/. Operators of production facilities, gas / liquid gathering pipelines and distribution pipelines, are not represented by NPMS nor are they required to be.

To view this information on the Web go to www.pipelinesafetyinfo.com

 

 

811 Marking Color Code

 White – Construction         Pink – Survey        Purple – Reclaimed Water

Red – Electric                    Yellow – Gas          Orange – Telephone/Cable

Blue – Water                     Green – Sewer