Gas Utility Pipeline Safety Damage Prevention Program
Damage Prevention Program
The Gas Utility’s damage prevention plan is provided to help the customer in locating buried gas lines and to prevent accidents from happening.
In Oklahoma, the law requires anyone planning to dig or excavate near an underground pipeline to notify OKIE One-Call Center two working days (48 hours) prior to beginning excavation activities. The OKIE One-Call center will notify member utilities that operate buried facilities in the area. A utility representative will determine if the project is near underground facilities and dispatch someone to the work site to clearly mark the route and location of buried cables and/or pipelines. Call 811 or 1-800-522-6543 for this FREE service.
For public-safety reasons, most pipelines are buried several feet underground. To make pipelines easier to locate and identify, the CITY OF YALE/YALE WATER AND SEWAGE TRUST AUTHORITY’S Gas Utility installs markers near roads and highways, at river crossings, above ground piping, and at other locations along our rights of way. These markers show a pipeline’s approximate location and provide emergency contact telephone numbers and product transported. Not all buried lines have markers. Therefore, prior to performing excavating activities as simple as planting a tree, installation of landscaping, building a fence, installing a swimmy pool, or installation of a mailbox, contact OKIE One-Call at 811 or 1-800-522-6543.
The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration (PHMSA) imposes rigorous standards for pipeline design, construction, testing and operation. Our policies and procedures are designed to meet and, in most cases, exceed these standards. Our commitment to safety begins before a pipeline is built or expanded. We build safety into our system by:
- Carefully researching and planning the safe construction of each project;
- Using pipe that is inspected and tested at the factory to comply with both federal and industry standards;
- Providing steel pipe with a coating and other measures that protect it from external corrosion, the use of corrosive resistant polyethylene plastic;
- Inspecting the integrity of the pipe during construction; and
- Testing the finished pipeline at pressures higher than normal operating pressure before it is placed into service.
Do not make unauthorized use of a right of way or drive heavy loads across a buried line (except at roads) without consulting the Gas Utility office. Always call before you dig and abide by all location markings. If excavating, carefully hand dig until the gas line is exposed. When backfilling, provide proper support for gas lines and ensure adequate soil cover on top. Use suitable rock-free material to avoid damage to the pipe or pipe coating
Safety During Operations
One the pipeline is built, tested and placed in service, the City of Yale/Yale Water and Sewage Trust Authority Gas Utility controls and monitors the safety of its system in several ways, including:
- Posting markers with emergency telephone numbers along our rights of way to let the public know an underground pipeline is in the area;
- Routinely patrolling our pipeline route on the ground to inspect and identify potential problems and assist in preventing third party excavation damage;
- Performing regular inspections and maintenance of facilities, including leak surveys and safety device checks on valves;
- Advising periodically, state and local emergency officials to review accident prevention and emergency response procedures.
Natural gas pipeline leaks or failures are rare, but an informed public can help prevent emergencies and minimize potential damage or injury in the unlikely event of an accident by knowing how to recognize and report pipeline problems.
How Safe Is Natural Gas?
Natural gas has an excellent safety record and gas emergencies are not common. However, we believe our customers should know how to recognize and respond to a natural gas emergency if one should occur. The City of Yale/Yale Water and Sewage Trust Authority Gas Utility is committed to the safe operation of our facilities and have prepared this brochure to help raise awareness about Damage Prevention and Safety Awareness.
The City of Yale/Yale Water and Sewage Trust Authority Gas Utility operates underground natural gas pipelines within the City of Yale and surrounding areas. Our employees make every effort to prevent emergency situations. Should a pipeline failure occur, our employees are well trained and experienced to manage such an event. Trained responders will be quickly dispatched in an emergency. Safety measures will be taken to reroute or shut down the pipeline. For more information about our emergency response plan, call 918-387-2405.
Identifying a Leak
SIGHT: A dense fog, mist or white cloud; bubbling in water and creeks; blowing dust; dead or discolored vegetation; fire emanating from the ground.
SMELL: Natural gas is naturally odorless, so a rotten egg odor is added to aid in leak detection.
SOUND: A whistling, hissing, or roaring noise.
WHAT TO DO IF A LEAK OCCURS
What NOT to do…
Do NOT touch, breathe, or make contact with the leak.
Do NOT light a match, turn on or off light switches, use a home or cell phone or do anything that may create a spark.
Do NOT attempt to extinguish any natural gas fire.
Do NOT attempt to operate any valves.
What to DO…
DO leave the home, building, or area of any suspected leak.
DO call 911 once safely out of the area.
Do warn others to stay out of the area.
Partners in Pipeline Safety
America’s natural gas pipeline industry maintains an enviable record of safety and reliability. Pipelines are by far the safest means of transportation today. The purpose of our pipeline is to provide safe, dependable, natural gas to your gas burning appliances 24 hours a day 7 days a week. However, despite strict federal oversight and the conscientious efforts made by our gas utility service and other natural gas companies, hazards do exist and emergencies, though infrequent, can occur. Statistics show that the majority of pipeline damage is caused by third parties (construction contractors, property owners, excavators, etc.) digging near buried pipelines. Damage to a pipeline, such as scratches, gouges, creases, dents, and the cutting of tracer wire or tracer tape installed along with polyethylene plastic should be reported to the City of Yale/Yale Water and Sewage Trust Authority Gas Utility office by calling 918-387-2405. Third-party damage can be prevented by using a local excavation notification system known as OKIE One-Call.
Safety, Health, and Environmental Stewardship
The City of Yale/Yale Water and Sewage Trust Authority Gas Utility recognizes that Safety, Health and Environmental Stewardship are every employee’s responsibility. Protection of human safety and health and the environment will come first, no matter how urgent the job, project, or commercial interest. Our goal and commitment is to use superior standards and policies for the benefit of everyone who is a part of our operations or lives in our community. These principles are the foundation of the safety and environmental policies of our Gas Utility operation.
Annual Home Safety Check
Natural gas itself is nontoxic. The potential danger comes from the incomplete combustion of natural gas, which can produce carbon monoxide. If you smell any unusual odor and cannot immediately identify and remedy the source, get yourself and others out of the structure/area and call 918-387-2403. Carbon monoxide results from the incomplete combustion of any fuel in air. This includes wood, gasoline, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. We recommend you have all gas burning appliances inspected annually by a licensed professional.