NATURAL GAS SAFETY
1. Damage Prevention
2. BC One Call
3. Live or work near a pipeline?
4. Crossing high pressure pipelines
5. Natural Gas Safety in Flood Situations
Transmission pipelines are constructed with pressure tested steel and covered with a protective coating to prevent corrosion. PNG utilizes a 24-hour per day Gas Control Centre with computer control of its pipeline system, commonly referred to as SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) to aid in the safe operation of its system. This system allows pipeline operations staff to monitor pipeline flow, pressure conditions and trends, to start and stop compressor units, and to open or close pressure control valves – all from a central control center. The SCADA system is capable of detecting and correcting various events that could impact system integrity. Unusual conditions trigger alarms to which field staff respond to verify problems and take corrective action if necessary. PNG also conducts regular aerial and land surveillance of the pipeline to check for corrosion, leaks, vegetation, and development encroachment.
THERE’S DANGER BELOW
• The object of BC ONE CALL is to minimize risk associated with accidents involving buried facilities such as pipelines, telecommunications cables, water and sewage lines, and electrical wires.
• BC ONE CALL is a province-wide non-profit organization providing one toll-free number to call before digging:
Telus Mobility and Cantel offer free airtime to cellular callers (*6886).
• Safety is BC ONE CALLs primary concern.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG
The Pipeline Right of Way
A pipeline is installed in a right of way granted by a landowner or legally acquired by PNG. Once the pipeline right of way has been established, PNG is entitled to use the land for the construction, operation and maintenance of its pipeline. Although the landowner retains ownership of the land in which the right of way is located, the landowner has a responsibility to abide by the regulations and safety practices of PNG and the provincial government.
Did You Know?
Permission is required from PNG for the operation of heavy vehicles or mobile equipment over the right of way where a roadway does not exist.
Permission is required from PNG for activities which reduce the overall cover over the pipe.
Permission is required from PNG for any activity considered potentially hazardous to the pipeline. This may include:
- Operating heavy equipment
- Sub-soiling (Deep ploughing)
- Ground leveling
- Installing drainage systems
- Drilling and blasting
- Construction of logging or access roads
Permission is not required for normal farming activity over the right of way. If in doubt, please give us a call. Permission is required to do seismic exploration or blasting within 30 metres of the pipeline right of way. No buildings or structures are permitted on the right of way.
Location of Pipeline
One or more pipelines may be installed within the right of way. Remember, only an authorized PNG field representative can accurately locate a buried pipeline. Once the pipeline has been located and marked, excavation may proceed only in the presence of the authorized PNG field representative.
The Restricted Area
An authorized PNG field representative may establish a restricted area to safely locate and stake a pipeline. The limits of the restricted area are temporary and may exceed the limits of the right of way and the controlled area. Once the pipeline has been located, staked and the meanings of those stakes explained to the affected party, the restricted area will expire. Excavation is not permitted in the restricted area.
If further assistance is required with any excavation or construction activity near a pipeline, please contact BC 1 Call at 1-800-474-6886 or in the case of an emergency phone 1 (800) 663-1173.
Commitment to Safety
The safe operation of a pipeline requires the cooperation of our company and you, the landowner. It is in the best interest of all parties to ensure that any excavation, construction activity, use of heavy equipment or blasting over or near pipelines is carried out safely. Pacific Northern Gas conducts regular safety checks of their pipelines to ensure the pipelines meet all Pipeline Act guidelines and regulations. Your safety requires good planning and good communication with our company.
Written Permission to Excavate and Construct
The exact location of a buried pipeline can only be verified by an authorized PNG field representative. Depth or location may vary within the boundaries of the right of way. The Pipeline Act regulations require that written permission be obtained from our company prior to any construction or excavation within 30 metres of a pipeline. Once written permission has been obtained, the authorized pipeline company field representative will locate and mark the pipeline.
Did You Know?
Our company will help you to obtain written permission for any construction or excavation activity across or near our pipeline. Our company will provide guidelines for excavation with mechanical equipment or blasting near our pipelines.
Our company will provide an authorized pipeline company field representative during construction or excavation activity occurring close to a pipeline. Unauthorized construction or excavation activity over or near a pipeline is illegal.
Three (3) workings days notice must be provided to our company prior to conducting any maintenance or excavation to a facility within the right of way. A facility may be; a ditch, drain tile, pavement, fence etc. If you are in doubt of what a facility is please give us a call.
Call before you dig.
Your safety requires Good planning and Good Communication with PNG.
- Obtain written permission from PNG.
- Allow ten working days for initial response from PNG.
- Once you have received permission, notify our company three working days before beginning the excavation stage of your project.
- Follow the instructions of an authorized PNG representative.
- Mechanical excavation is prohibited within three metres of a pipeline, unless the pipeline has been exposed at the point of crossing.
- Notify our company one working day before backfilling over the pipe. This will allow the pipe to be examined for damage which may have occurred during excavation.
Together, we can provide for the safe operation of pipelines
The snow pack in the Pacific Northwest is at or near record levels measured over the past 20 years, this plus the cool spring weather we are experiencing is raising concern over the possibilities of flood conditions in our area.
Together with the Provincial Emergency Program, we have identified the areas for potential risk and have prepared our staff should flooding occur.
What to do before a flood
If you have enough advance warning prior to a flood, protect your appliances by:
- Having a licensed heating contractor remove the electric motor, burner and controls from furnace, and shut off the gas and electric supply.
- Having a licensed heating contractor remove hot water tanks, clothes dryers and ranges from your building.
- Have the contractor cap and properly thread seal the gas pipe leading to the appliance shut off valve. This is to prevent the back flow of flood water into the gas piping system. If you have natural gas clothes dryers, ranges and other appliances removed, ensure the gas supply valve is shut off to the appliance first.
- Do not drain hot water tanks. Just shut off the water supply leading to and from the tank
If you don’t have enough time or a licensed heating contractor is not available:
- Turn off electrical power to each appliance and leave it off
- Shut off the gas supply valve to the appliance
Once the gas is shut off at the meter, DON’T try to turn it back on. Only a certified gas technician can turn the gas on safely. Call Pacific Northern Gas or any qualified gas fitter to restore gas service. If leaking gas starts to burn, don’t try to put the flame out. Leave immediately and only shut off the gas at the meter if you are able.
If you are evacuating your premises
Shut off your gas valve at the meter. You can turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter. Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe.
How to turn off your meter
You can turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter.
Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe (see diagram).
What to do after a flood
If water levels were high enough to cover the gas meter, call Pacific Northern Gas to check your meter and regulator before using your gas system. Flood waters may have shifted your home or caused other stresses to the gas piping.
CAUTION: If you smell gas, or if there is evidence of a gas leak, don’t enter the building. Turn your gas off at the main shut-off valve on the inlet pipe next to your gas meter. Using a wrench or other suitable tool, give the valve a quarter turn in either direction so that it is crosswise to the pipe. Call our 24-hour emergency line at 1-800-663-1173, your local fire department or 911.
All electrical wiring in buildings that has been partially or fully covered by flood water must be checked by a qualified electrician or electrical inspector before being put into service again. Any loose wires should be considered “live” and a definite hazard.
Always call a licensed heating contractor
Don’t try to put natural gas appliances back in service yourself. Gas appliances that have been flooded should not be used until inspected by a licensed heating contractor.
A licensed heating contractor will check, clean, repair and pressure test all gas pipes that have been clogged with mud or debris. Switches, controls, thermostats, furnace heat exchangers, burner and pilot parts and rusting metal parts can also be damaged.
Please note, the cost of restoring some appliances to a safe operating condition can exceed the cost of a new appliance.
For more information
For more information on flood safety, call us at 1-800-667-2297 or visit these organization’s websites:
Protect your family with these simple steps.
Prepare your emergency survival kit
Include the following items:
- Water! At least two to four litres of water per person per day. Small bottles can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order.
- Food that will not spoil, such as canned food, energy bars and dried foods – do not forget pet food. • Manual can opener.
- Flashlight and lantern with spare batteries.
- Battery-powered or wind-up radio.
- First aid kit.
- Prescription medications.
- Infant formula/care items.
- Important personal and family documents.
- Warm clothing, including waterproof outer garments and footwear for each household member.
- Basic tools (hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, and gloves).
- Personal toiletries.
- Identification for each member of your household.
- Cash in small bills.