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Natural Gas Public Awareness Campaign

Notice to Residents

Everyone in our community is familiar with our local gas department but some may not realize that natural gas utilities receive their gas from natural gas pipeline systems. The purpose for these underground energy portals is to safely transport this vital fuel to heat homes and power businesses and vital service institutions. The transportation of natural gas through these pipelines is one of the safest methods for transporting energy, although accidents can occur. One of the ways accidents occur is when someone digs in the vicinity of a gas pipe and cuts the line. The Tennessee One-Call system is an organization to prevent these types of accidents. Dialing 811 and providing information to the operator will ensure that local utilities, including gas utilities, will mark their lines. Another way accidents occur is when leaks from pipelines, appliances or other gas-­related equipment occur. Natural gas is a colorless, odorless fuel that is lighter than air. Because it is odorless, a harmless odorant, usually smelling like rotten eggs, is added to the gas so that the presence of gas may be detected. Leaks may be detected by noticing the following:

  1. Smelling gas (odorant) near a meter or pipeline, sometimes after excavation work
  2. A hissing or roaring sound caused by escaping gas
  3. Dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green environment
  4. Blowing dirt, grass, or leaves
  5. Steady bubbling in wet, flooded areas or other water environment
  6. A fire in or near an appliance or gas pipe
  7. Unusual noise at an appliance
  8. Unusual behavior of the flame at an appliance burner

In the event of a detected gas leak, the following should take place:

  1. Leave the vicinity immediately (without making calls or operating light switches)
  2. Evacuate others in the vicinity
  3. Turn off and abandon cars or equipment in the vicinity
  4. When at a safe distance, report the leak
  5. Do not start a car or other equipment in the vicinity
  6. Do not operate any electrical or electronic equipment in the vicinity
  7. Do not light a match or use another source of ignition
  8. Do not smoke
  9. Warn others to stay away from the area
  10. Stay away from open flames
  11. Wait for maintenance, emergency or utility personnel to put out flames

To report a leak, call 731-635-1901 or the emergency number at 731-413-5665.

In keeping the public safe from the potential hazards of natural gas, such as fire or explosion caused by leaks, Ripley Housing Authority is required to perform an annual corrosion control survey. The distribution piping that is made of steel requires a survey to ensure that the pipe is not rusting or being damaged by the soil. A leak survey is also performed every five (5) years to find leaks in piping and related gas equipment. Additionally, the maintenance staff performs periodic sniff tests to ensure that odorant can be detected in the gas. The maintenance staff also makes periodic checks for gas leaks and monitors each gas meter. The agency that oversees all-natural gas safety related activity for our distribution piping is the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. They can be reached at 1-800-342-8359.

To obtain further information about natural gas, you may contact Ripley Housing Authority at 731-635-1901.