Is your sewer clogged or backing up? Are you ready to rent equipment or call someone to clear it out? Before you do – Call Before You Clear – Know What’s Inside.
Before you do anything, your first call should be to Delta. Why? There is a possibility that a natural gas pipe could have been inadvertently installed through your sewer pipe and the mechanical equipment used to unclog sewer pipes can penetrate the natural gas pipe and lead to the dangerous release of natural gas.
Many utilities use underground “horizontal directional boring” to install natural gas pipes underground beneath streets, driveways, and mature trees to minimize damage. This approach is commonly used in the industry because it involves significantly less environmental impacts and disruption than open trench digging. However, because many vintage sewer lines are made of clay and contain no tracer wire they are not “locatable” and a utility may have come in contact with it unknowingly.
As long as a natural gas pipe is not penetrated, it poses no safety hazard. However, if you are having trouble with your sewer, or think you have a blockage, please call Delta before anyone attempts to clear the sewer pipe. We will examine our records to determine if any potential conflicts could possibly exist with our natural gas pipelines.
If a natural gas pipe is penetrated while clearing a sewer line, you will smell a natural gas odor at the cleanout or inside the building served by the sewer line. There is a possibility that you may also see bubbles rising through standing water or in the toilet bowl.
If these signals are present STOP what you are doing and have everyone evacuate the premises immediately. Leave the doors open and do not operate any light switches or use other sources of ignition. From a safe distance, call Delta and 911 for immediate assistance.
So before you attempt to clear a sewer pipe, or have it cleared by someone else, contact Delta to ensure there are no conflicts with underground natural gas pipes. Don’t assume you know what’s inside. Protect yourself and those around you – Call Before You Clear – Know What’s Inside!