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  1. #21
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    One place i lived had a private water company owned by the property owners of the area.
    This was about 40 properties.

    The city water system bordered it on one side.

    Calling the toll free before you dig number did nothing as for the 5 years i lived there the people at the toll free number called the city water company and NEVER call us.

    we even had to post signs on all the streets trying to inform companies not to dig without calling us.

    The local power phone and gas company were always cutting our water lines and we could do nothing about it as they had called the 800 number that would not call our private system people.

    And the local power, phone, and gas companies knew we would not be called. but dug up our lines anyway.

    The only thing we could come up with was the city water company wanted to buy out our system and was trying to cost us money.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Caudill View Post
    The adjoining property owner informed me he knew where everything was and that the gas line was on his side of the property and I had nothing to worry about.
    When I owned a back-hoe I heard that same line a hundred times. "Can you bring your back-hoe and dig a _____ for me? It will be ok there is nothing there......"

    Yeah, sure and when I cut through one of your nonexsistent lines who is going to pay? The guy running the machine that's who. If they were to lazy to call "Dig Safe" then I decided I was to lazy to do them a favor.

    Granted the utility companies do get it wrong. The local rural water board hired my brother to use the back-hoe to dig up a leaking line. Utilities came out and said good to go. Thirty minutes later the bucket cracked the natural gas line. Luckily there was no one hurt, just a large group of houses temporarily without gas.

  3. #23
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    Something not mentioned is here in Canada you can be CRIMINALLY charged, fined and even jailed for hitting gas lines if you have not called for locates or have not exposed a line by hand before mechanically digging within 4ft of locate. I have not heard of it being done but it is something that can happen.

  4. #24
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    Northern Athens county in Ohio is experiencing some sub-global warming right now. Don't know yet if it's spontaneous pipeline rupture and combustion, or if it was provoked... Either way, I'm sure there will be some weenies roasted.

    Chip

  5. #25
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    Reminds me of 2 more. Near 6 years of posting, so I may have said these before, Excuse any repetition.

    1980, when I was in plumbing and heating, they lifted the embargo on new gas customers. I hated oil heat, put in a new gas boiler, plumbed for gas, they tested my line, set up to connect me.

    I live in a village where a local farmer and his pretty well to do, for the time, ran a small water company, for lack of a better term, from a good springhouse, 2" galvanized pipe down my street. 1948 or so, maybe '50.

    30 years alter, gas company is starting to dig in the street. I go out and stop them. "You're digging up a water line.". "Nope, right here on the map, 8 feet from that stone wall.". "No, that's water. Gas is on my side of the street.". "Go away. We know what we are doing!".

    Go back to the porch, watch them, 5 minutes later the guy in the ditch scrambles out, boots full of water. "I told you!"

    Dig on my side, 2" steel gas line. "Why'na F**k are there 2 2" pipes on the same street?" Hey, it was a village, still is, only about 150 houses.

    The other was when I talked 2 home owners into changing from oil to gas when they wanted me to replace their furnaces, 2 houses apart. Price I came up with was not much more to replace the furnaces, plumb the houses for gas, including drops for range, WH, dryer, and run plastic WAY down to a HP gas line with regulators "down there". Old lady next door to one had pictures from when she had gas installed years before, assured me the plumber had "put metal" in the trench. She was from 6 to 700 feet from the HP line. Gas company can't find a wire. Most likely he threw a nail here and there.

    My digger goes to work, breaks the line in 3 places.Even with the pics to help. Long time, I think one was 800 foot, one 900 foot, and the guy a few hundred feet away, 1 1/4" plastic, 300 K BTU furnace, water heater pilot goes out every time the furnace valve opens, wants me to install 2" pipe for him. 28 or 2900 feet of plastic in that ditch.

    I talked the gas company into plastic welding splices into the breaks, but their boss came out and raised hell and I got charged as much for that service as I would have paid for Dressler couplings. 2" came in 500' rolls, fewere couplings, at 65 bucks each, or so, but Goddamn, I don't ever wanna horse them big bastards thru the woods, again. Like to had a heart attack, and I was only in my 30's.

    I wouldn't dig anything unless I knew for certain what was down there.

    Cheers,

    George

    Long winded, I know. Sorry, but you can skip it if you read it before

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by S_W_Bausch View Post
    I understand that white is the "proposed" color, so if you were worried about installing post holes, pits, trenchlines, etc. marking out your proposal with white would be an effective communication.
    I just went through this Monday.

    At least here, marking proposed excavation with white is not only "effective communication", but a prerequisite. When I called they asked if the white was marked and I said "I plan to do so this morning" and they said "call back AFTER the white is marked out".

  7. #27
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    I was gone from the job site for a few and when I come back the utilities were marked. Everything was about where I expected them to be with the exception of a big red paint line where I had the sod off in preparation to digging a footer for a patio. I spent an hour or so digging by hand to no avail. I then started calling and trying to find the guy who did the marking. About 5 PM I finally found him and asked him what the mark was for." Oh I was just cleaning out the paint can". I promptly told him where to clean his can, in the future. Kenny

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew_D View Post



    In other words....even the locate service can be wrong!

    Andrew
    I live just West of Dayton, Ohio too and saw the OP story on the news.

    This one I actually witnessed. About 18 years ago Texas Eastern brought up a gas main through our state. If I remember correctly it was a 24 inch gas main. Put it this way. guys had creepers that they laid on and went through it after the straight sections were laid. BIG pipe for around here. We had property it went through and they laid it in then came back afterwords to fix all the field tile and drainage problems after it was running gas.

    We had a list for them and they started doing them. One section had an old railroad bridge(they were running down the old railroad right of way) and they looped out in our field. THEIR guys came out to mark where the line was and they started digging and he was present while they were doing it.

    They were digging everything with HUGE Cat excavators with 5 ft buckets. Yes, a 5 ft bucket to put in 4 inch field tile in spots. Insane to me. Guy was digging 15 ft away from the center mark and a screech was heard and green poly was in the ditch. They coat all the pipe with that and even cover the weld joints with it. A unison shout of HOLY something was said by all as he hit it dead on. Needless to say we never were present while they did anymore.

    Another ironic thing about this. This is about 1/3 mile away from Valley View High School in Montgomery Co. Ohio. Officials fought the pipeline coming through as they feared for the safety of the children if something were to happen. About 3 years ago the owner of the property bordering us gave the district their land and you guessed it, they want to build a Mega school for all grades on it. If they had there way now, the kids would be over the line.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevco View Post
    Officials fought the pipeline coming through as they feared for the safety of the children if something were to happen. About 3 years ago the owner of the property bordering us gave the district their land and you guessed it, they want to build a Mega school for all grades on it.
    I lent out the video so I am not certain the location and date of this incident, but believe it was May 1988 in Henderson, Nevada. One of the (two?) solid rocket fuel factories in the US was placed squarely on top of a major gas pipeline. Due to incredibly bad plant practices, a minor fire at the rocket fuel factory quickly escalated into a major explosive cookoff. The video I watched was taken from a mesa or bluff several miles away, and you could see 55 gallon barrels being thrown hundreds of feet in the air, and multiple explosive shockwaves compressing the air around the facility. After about 5 or 10 minutes of this, the gas pipeline under the facility ruptured and added another source of fuel to the raging fires.

    Now the vast majority of the damage was done by the rocket fuel but why was a rocket fuel factory placed square on top of a 16" gas pipeline!?!

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  11. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post

    Now the vast majority of the damage was done by the rocket fuel but why was a rocket fuel factory placed square on top of a 16" gas pipeline!?!
    Must have been a "rocket scientist's" idea

    Another one that is along these lines that I remember. I think it was in the 1970's on route 35 just west of New Lebanon, Ohio there was a junkyard fire. Fire was mainly at the counter office and was blowing up in the sky like a blowtorch. It could be seen for miles. Seems the owner of the place had "tapped into" the main gas line that runs along there for heating his place. Needless to say they weren't too happy about that and rumors were he had done it a LONG time before that. They probably never would have caught him if it wasn't for that fire.

    They still talk about that one.

  12. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    Now the vast majority of the damage was done by the rocket fuel but why was a rocket fuel factory placed square on top of a 16" gas pipeline!?!
    Oh, I don't know, maybe because natural gas is used as a feedstock in the production of ammonia that is used to produce the solid rocket fuel that exploded? It is ammonium perchlorate that was produced there IIRC.

    Sometimes it isn't even rocket science involved. Just being practical. If you're going to need a lot of natural gas, you might put your plant on a pipeline.

    I think the natural gas feeding the explosion was a minor element. The excess of ammonium perchlorate on hand was the real problem.

  13. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevco View Post
    ... About 18 years ago Texas Eastern brought up a gas main through our state.....
    That name rang a bell. Here's why (This happened behind our former machine shop in upstate NY). The propane pipe line had a 20 yr life expectancy. It was going on 40+ at the time of the rupture. This pipeline has ruptured 3 times already. No one was hurt in this one, but two people were killed in 1990.

    Thursday, January 29, 2004

    Probe into blast begins
    HARPERSFIELD — With flames ignited by a pipeline explosion extinguished, workers from Texas Eastern Products Pipeline Co., the line owner, started digging Wednesday to remove a valve assembly where a leak occurred. The pipeline, which carried liquid propane, exploded Sunday night, destroying a house on Quaker Hill Road. No major injuries were reported but neighbors within a half-mile radius were evacuated Sunday. Many returned to their homes Wednesday.

    --------------------------------


    In household use, propane is at a much higher pressure than Nat gas. Is that also true in pipelines?

    Walt

  14. #33
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    Here is what happens when you don't call.


    Tim






    Locate underground utilities before digging | NewsLeak

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    Quote Originally Posted by TToolm View Post
    Here is what happens when you don't call.

    Tim
    Locate underground utilities before digging | NewsLeak

    Not a dig. Corrosion issue with pipeline. Was not a farmer with a post hole digger.

    See here:
    http://www.snopes.com/photos/accident/gasmain.asp

    and here:

    Corrosion caused Appomattox rupture

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    Be sure to read the snopes link toward the bottom of the page Tim just linked. The reason they didn't find any fragments of "the farmer with the post hole digger" is that there wasn't one. This was a failure due to corrosion and overpressure. It remains a minor miracle that no one was killed, as at least two farm houses were destroyed. Big, BIG area of fire scorching surrounding the hole in the ground.

    Edit: Looks like Keith got the word out first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    Be sure to read the snopes link toward the bottom of the page Tim just linked. The reason they didn't find any fragments of "the farmer with the post hole digger" is that there wasn't one. This was a failure due to corrosion and overpressure. It remains a minor miracle that no one was killed, as at least two farm houses were destroyed. Big, BIG area of fire scorching surrounding the hole in the ground.
    I guess NEWS LEAK who reported the story Goofed. Glad to find out that nobody died. Thanks for the update..


    Tim

  18. #37
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    Backhoe. Fade is a pain

    The utilities all have recovery departments just. For this

    You need to mark the area wait for marks then dig

  19. #38
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    Who knew being a utility locator would have so much drama.

  20. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by biomedic View Post
    Who knew being a spammer would have so much drama.
    Oh for Pete's sake, GO AWAY!!

  21. #40
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    Interesting reading the old posts. I will ignore the spammer. I have a major gas pipe line though our property. It is a 32 inch serving San Antonio. Owned by CPS of San Antonio. Early on we trenched across that line 3 or 4 times. Each time we called for marking CPS told us they had no line in the area. Koch has a 10" petroleum line 80 feet away and they have always been Johnny on the spot and even probed and gave me the depths. The time I personally trenched across the CPS line(the others were contractors) we raised the blade on the trencher to 2 feet depth instead of 3. My son was doing it and it, I told him if he heard the slightest sound from back there to jump off the machine and RUN!

    We have trenched across it several times in the recent past and they have responded. I talked to one of the CPS responders and he said they had a federal inspector looking over their pipeline, valves, and pumping stations a couple of years ago. The Fed said lets call this 800 number on the post and see what happens. He was told that CPS did not have a pipeline there, with the inspector standing there and looking at the yellow marker, that was the wrong thing to say! CPS is still a bad actor, with shredding crews cutting cattle forage for no reason, breaking fences, shredding mineral blocks, irrigation hoses and worst of all killing a calf. Nothing good to say about them. Koch on the other hand has done everything right so far.


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