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Pipeline Safety
Facts you should know
Pipeline Safety

Pipeline Purpose & Reliability

America's pipeline network is used every day to transport products such as natural gas to homes, businesses and industrial facilities. According to National Transportation Safety Board statistics, pipelines are the safest and most economical method of transporting products. Our educational outreach teaches excavating contractors, emergency officials, public officials and the public how to live and work safely near natural gas pipelines.

Our Commitment to Your Safety

CenterPoint Energy is committed to the safe and reliable operation of its pipelines in the communities we serve. We monitor the operations of our pipelines which are designed, installed, tested, operated and maintained in accordance with all applicable Federal and State requirements. We maintain our safety record through routine inspections, corrosion protection, maintenance and testing programs, employee training and public education. Public education includes educational outreach with excavating contractors, emergency response officials, appropriate public officials, and the affected public.

For more information on natural gas safety, please visit the links on the right.

How can you tell where a pipeline is located?

Since most pipelines are buried underground, pipeline markers are used to indicate their approximate location along the route. They cannot be relied upon to indicate the exact position of the pipeline. 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.

Pipeline Marker - This marker is the most commonly seen. It contains operator information, type of product, and an emergency contact number.

Aerial Marker - These skyway facing markers are used by patrol planes that monitor pipeline ROW.

Casing Vent Marker - This marker indicates that a pipeline (protected by a steel outer casing) pases beneath a nearby roadway, rail line or other crossing. Sometimes overflow of product may be seen.

What is in a pipeline?

  • Pipelines carry both gaseous and liquid materials under high pressure.
  • Many pipelines contain colorless and odorless products.
  • Many liquids form gaseous vapor clouds when released into the air.
  • 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 & Security

Pipeline right-of-ways 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 right-of-way. Do not dig, build, store or place anything on or near the right-of-ways without first having the pipeline marked and the right-of-ways staked.

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

National Pipeline Mapping System

To view and download maps of transmission pipelines in your county, see the National Pipeline Mapping System website, an online mapping program managed by the federal government.

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