The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) statistics confirm that natural gas pipelines are one of the safest modes of energy transportation. Our company works closely with regulatory agencies to meet and often exceed appropriate safety regulations. At CEGT, safety is paramount. The safety of the employees and the general public is assured throughout each step of the pipeline’s operations, including new construction.
The pipeline is constructed of high-strength carbon steel coated with corrosion resistant, non-conductive, inert material. During construction, each joint of the pipeline is welded and each joint is x-rayed to verify its integrity. The pipeline is cathodically protected after the pipe is placed in the ground. Cathodic protection is the process of applying a safe, low voltage direct current to all surfaces of the pipeline to protect it from the effects of corrosion. Additionally, the pipeline is hydrostatically tested at high pressure to ensure its structural integrity prior to being placed in service. During the hydrostatic testing, the pipeline is filled with water and pressurized to a level higher than the maximum allowable operating pressure. That pressure is held for a specific period or time to confirm the integrity of the pipeline.
Once the pipeline is installed, with adequate ground cover, the surface is restored to its pre-existing condition in compliance with USDOT regulations, and CEGT then installs above-ground markers to indicate the location of the buried pipeline. These markers, required by USDOT regulations, are placed in line-of-sight intervals as the buried pipeline crosses private and public property and are also installed at each and every road and railroad crossing. Markers are designed to enhance public safety and alert anyone planning any excavation of the location of the pipeline in a particular area. The markers display contact information for CEGT should you need assistance or witness a pipeline emergency.
An important component of public safety is leak protection and detection. CEGT personnel regularly perform visual inspections of their pipelines to identify potential problems. These inspections are done on foot, by vehicle or by air. CEGT is an active member and advocate of the One Call System programs in Arkansas, as well as in all the states in which it operates. Through these One Call System programs, CEGT is informed of planned excavations, allowing us to monitor activities around the right-of-way to protect the pipeline.
If you have a pipeline easement on your property, protect the pipeline by knowing the details of your easement agreement and avoiding activities that could endanger underground lines, such as planting trees or shrubs or placing buildings or structures on the right-of-way.
One Call, or “811,” is a free, national service created to help protect home and business owners from unintentionally damaging underground utility lines while digging. One Call coordinates with pipeline companies to mark the location of underground lines before you dig. Operators will mark the location of pipelines with marker flags or colored paint. Pipelines are marked with yellow flags. Other underground utility lines will be marked with different color flags. Respect the marks and dig carefully. Talk with the pipeline operator if you have questions about safe digging near pipelines. If you nick, ding or damage a pipeline while digging, call the operator immediately so that they can come inspect and repair any damage to prevent future problems.