If you’re living in the US or Canada, chances are you’re living close to a pipeline. It’s just a fact of life. So, how can we live in harmony with these lines? What tools are available to keep us safe and keep those pipes from becoming a problem?
The 21st century affords us ample opportunities to learn about our surroundings and live more safely. And the oil and gas industry provides terrific resources to help keep us all safe.
Call before you dig
This is the most obvious and most well-known option. It doesn’t cost you a penny, and it’s the law. 48 to 72 hours before digging, call 811. Even if you’re only planting a tree or digging a small hole for shrubs, don’t mess around. Be safe.
Learn how to recognize a pipeline leak and then take the proper steps to keep safe. Smell a rotten egg? This might be natural gas which is odorized for your protection. If you smell it, then do the following:
- Turn off gas appliances.
- Leave the area and call 911.
- Warn others.
Learn where the pipelines are
Have you ever heard of the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS)? They have a great tool called a Public Viewer for those interested in viewing pipelines on a map. Use this tool to view pipelines and their attributes by state and county.
Buried pipelines have markers and warning signs located at intervals along the line. They show where the pipeline is located, what product is being transported, who the pipeline operator is, and their contact information.
Living with pipelines is a fact of life, so utilize all available resources to keep you, your loved ones, and your community safe.
This Saturday, August 11, is National 811 Day. It’s observed every year and serves as a reminder for private citizens and professional excavators to always call before you dig. Keep your family, friends, and co-workers safe. It’s the law and it’s free! Interested in finding out more? Here are a couple of great 811 sites to visit: https://colorado811.org or https://www.texas811.org.