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If You Live or Work Near a Pipeline

If you live or work near a pipeline, there's some basic information you should know.

How can you tell where a pipeline is located?
Since pipelines are buried underground, line markers  are used to indicate their approximate location along the route. The markers can be found where a pipeline intersects a street, highway or railway.

The markers display the material transported in the line, the name of the pipeline operator, and a telephone number where the operator can be reached in the event of an emergency.

Are pipeline markers always placed on top of the pipeline?
Markers indicate the general location of a pipeline. They cannot be relied upon to indicate the exact position of the pipeline. Also, the pipeline may not follow a straight course between markers. And, while markers are helpful in locating pipelines, they are limited in the information they provide. They provide no information, for example, on depth or number of pipelines in the vicinity.

Pipeline contents:

  • Pipelines carry both gaseous and liquid materials under high pressure.
  • Many liquids form gaseous vapor clouds when released into the air.
  • Many pipelines contain colorless and odorless products.
  • Some gases are lighter than air and will rise.
  • Other heavier-than-air gases and liquids will stay near the ground and collect in low spots.
  • All petroleum gases and liquids are flammable.
  • Any pipeline leak can be potentially dangerous.

Pipeline access and security
Pipeline rights-of-way must be kept free from structures and other obstructions to provide access to the pipeline for maintenance and in the event of an emergency. If a pipeline crosses your property, please do not plant trees or high shrubs on the rights-of-way. Do not dig, build, store or place anything near the rights-of-way without first having the pipeline marked and the rights-of-way staked.

Additionally, if you witness suspicious activity on a pipeline rights-of-way, please report it to the authorities, or call your local CenterPoint Energy emergency number.

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