Preventing a Natural Gas Pipeline Emergency

Preventing a Natural Gas Pipeline Emergency

Every day, natural gas pipelines safely carry one of the world’s cleanest, most efficient and reliable fuels to businesses and homes like yours.  Whether you are a GUC natural gas customer or not, you probably live and work near underground gas pipelines that run under streets, sidewalks and yards. GUC maintains more than 1,000 miles of natural gas pipeline throughout Pitt County.

State and federal pipeline safety regulations are tougher now than ever, and today’s pipelines are constructed of better materials and better technology than ever before. Among all pipelines, natural gas pipelines have the best safety record.

Pipeline emergencies such as a natural gas leak or accident are extremely rare. Preventing pipeline emergencies is critically important to Greenville Utilities, and we are responsible for keeping our portion of the delivery system safe. From design and construction to operations and maintenance, natural gas utilities like ours set high standards to keep natural gas pipelines incident free. That’s why, in addition to following state and federal safety regulations, we sponsor public education programs, meet regularly with public and emergency officials and perform system inspections using sophisticated leak detection equipment.

Though natural gas pipeline incidents are uncommon, you should know their signs so you can do your part to prevent a pipeline emergency.

Be aware of the signs of a pipeline leak such as the rotten-egg-like odor of natural gas. Near a gas line, watch for bubbling water, blowing dirt, dead plants or listen for a hissing sound. Please don’t look for a leak or try to stop it on your own.  Be sure not to smoke, light a match or lighter, use a cell phone, flashlight, turn on or off any lights or appliances or operate any kind of vehicle or equipment that could create a spark. Leave the area completely and then, call our toll-free, 24-hour Emergency Hotline at 1-855-767-2482. If the smell of gas is particularly strong, or if there is a fire, call 911.

The leading cause of accidents on the pipeline delivery system is hitting a line when digging or trenching. Remember, if you do any digging—no matter how small— North Carolina State law requires you call NC 811. You need to call at least three full working days in advance so all utility lines can be professionally marked prior to digging. Click here for more information.

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For more information on natural gas safety, please contact GUC at 551-1587.


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