Contractor dig-in causes gas outage impacting 105 homes or businesses; quick response gets customers relit in a hurry
An employee inspects the scene of a natural gas line
dig in at Dalton Gardens, Idaho last week. 105
homes or businesses were without gas overnight
during the repair and relight process.
When it comes to the 24/7-natural gas and electric service we all depend on, Avista’s top priority is to provide it safely and reliably. It is a commitment we all take seriously, and work hard to ensure every day.
An example of this occurred Monday, March 26 at a construction site in Dalton Gardens, Idaho. A contractor struck a four-inch steel natural gas line. The line break was blowing natural gas into the area. A four-inch line doesn’t seem big; however, that size natural gas pipeline can send natural gas to numerous commercial and residential buildings. For comparison, the internal diameter of a typical residential natural gas line is roughly three-quarters of an inch.
We received the emergency call around 4 p.m., just as our natural gas crews were getting ready to go home from their workday. A crew responded immediately to secure the area from potential danger and repair the natural gas line.
After working for nearly 24 hours between their normal workday and the emergency response, the three-man crew finished the repair. Another crew arrived early in the morning to go door-to-door to all 105 businesses and residences to ensure their natural gas service was back on and to relight their natural gas appliances.
Though larger natural gas line incidents rarely occur, you can count on us 24/7 when they do. That’s standing by our commitment to provide safe and reliable service to your homes and businesses.
What you should do if there is a gas leak outdoors
Below are some instructions on what to do if a natural gas line is ever struck or you believe there is a leak nearby.
When outdoors, look for these signs:
• Rotten egg odor in the air. We add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs so you’ll know right away if there is a problem.
• Blowing or hissing sound
• Dust blowing from a hole in the ground
• Continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas
• Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area
In the event of a natural gas leak, your safety and of those around you are priority one. Any time you smell or hear a gas leak, take these precautions:
• Evacuate the immediate area. Leave immediately on foot in the direction away from where the gas is leaking. Warn others to keep away from the affected area.
• Call Avista Utilities at 1-800-227-9187, and stay on the phone with us until we have all the information we need to send help. Never assume someone else has already reported the leak.
Because natural gas is lighter than air, it becomes combustible when mixed with air and exposed to an ignition source. Don’t smoke, light matches, turn your electrical switches on or off, use the telephone or do anything else that might create a spark.
To report a life-threatening emergency, always call 911.
April is National Call Before You Dig Month
Spring is officially here; and with the warming of the season comes outdoor projects. Before you start digging any time of year, remember to make one easy phone call to 811 or a click of the mouse to http://www.call811.com
to get your underground utility lines marked.
It’s easy and free. Just call 811 or request at http://www.call811.com
at least two business days before you dig, and a professional locator will come to your proposed dig site to mark the approximate location of the lines. Once you know where they are, it’s safe to start digging.