• RECOGNIZING A PIPELINE LEAK

  • How to identify pipelines     

                                                             

    • Pipelines are usually buried underground.
    • Markers are used to show the general, not the exact, location of a pipeline.
    • Pipelines may not follow a straight course between markers.
    • Markers do not show how deep the pipeline is buried or how many lines are in the area.
    • The pipeline right-of-way is the land over the pipeline, usually 25 feet from each side of each pipeline.
    • Do not plant trees or tall shrubs and do not build permanent structures on the rights-of-way, so that pipeline rights-of-way can be properly maintained.
    • Do not dig on the rights-of-way, unless you have notified the One-Call Center.
    • Never rely only on the presence or absence of pipeline markers. Someone may have moved or removed the marker.
    • Emergency contact information is listed on each pipeline marker.
    • Do not disturb the markers. Willful removal or damage of the markers is a federal offense and subject to a fine or imprisonment.

      

     How to recognize a pipeline leak:

    • Sight:  Liquid pools, discolored or abnormally dry soil/vegetation, continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas, an oily sheen on water surfaces and vaporous fogs or blowing dirt around a pipeline area can all be indicative of a pipeline leak. Dead or discolored plants in an otherwise healthy area of vegetation or frozen ground in warm weather are other possible signs.
    • Sound:  Volume can range from a quiet hissing to a loud roar depending on the size of the leak and pipeline system. 
    • Smell: An unusual smell, petroleum odor, or gaseous odor will sometimes accompany pipeline leaks. Natural Gas and Highly Volatile Liquids are colorless, tasteless and odorless unless commercial odorants or mercaptan is added. Gas transmission/gas gathering pipelines are odorless, but may contain a hydrocarbon smell. 

    What to do if you suspect a pipeline leak 

     

    • Turn off equipment and eliminate any ignition sources without risking injury.
    • Leave the area by foot immediately.  Try to direct any other bystanders to leave the area.  Attempt to stay upwind.
    • Notify 911 or your local emergency response number and Boardwalk.
    • DO NOT cause any open flame or other potential source of ignition such as an electrical switch, vehicle ignition, light a match, etc.  Do not start motor vehicles or electric equipment. Do not ring doorbells to notify others of the leak.  Knock with your hand to avoid potential sparks from knockers.
    • DO NOT come into direct contact with any escaping liquids or gas.
    • DO NOT drive into a leak or vapor cloud while leaving the area.
    • DO NOT attempt to operate any pipeline valves yourself.  You may inadvertently route more product to the leak or cause a secondary incident.
    • DO NOT attempt to extinguish a petroleum product or natural gas fire. Wait for local firefighters and other professionals trained to deal with such emergencies.

     

    How to report a pipeline leak

     

    If you feel the situation involves imminent danger, from a safe location, call 911 or your local public safety officials and describe the location and the situation. You should also report the leak to Boardwalk Louisiana Midstream by calling 1-225-387-0871 or 1-866-574-4483 if you suspect the leak is on one of our pipelines. Boardwalk's telephone number can also be located on our pipeline marker post or pipeline sign. Give you name, the location, and a description of the leak.