Auxiliary Natural Gas Line Struck during Excavation Activities

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Type:  Lessons Learned

Publisher:  Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL), Z - Not Used (use Lemont, IL Instead - was Argonne, IL )

Published As:  Public


Topics:  Electrical, Excavation, Hazardous Energy Control

A subcontractor crew unexpectedly struck and ruptured a pressurized, one-inch plastic natural gas line located approximately 30 inches below grade. This particular gas line is a lateral service line, operating at 10 to 12 psi, and extending from the 4-inch main. There was no injury nor ignition of natural gas associated with this event.

Lesson Summary: It is important that all pertinent information is documented and communicated to all individuals involved with any aspect of an excavation project to avoid miscommunication and assumptions. In addition, consideration needs to be taken for changes in field conditions that may have occurred between the time utilities were located and marked, and the time excavation is initiated. Furthermore, site utility maps must be updated with data from prior potholing activities to indicate the location of new installations.

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