Natural gas travels through a 2.4 million mile pipeline system for use in homes and businesses. The safety record of this system and the natural gas utilities is outstanding – and it keeps getting better.
Prior to gas entering a home or business, natural gas travels through many miles of natural gas pipeline until the local natural gas utility delivers it to the customer’s meter through a service line. The service line usually is a small plastic pipeline an inch or less in diameter. This line ends at a gas meter that is connected to an inner or outer wall of a home or business.
Natural gas is naturally odorless. Mercaptan, the distinctive “rotten egg” odor associated with natural gas, is added before it reaches the customer, as a safety precaution.
After the natural gas passes through a customer’s meter, the gas becomes the property of the customer. The gas flows into the piping inside the house, which also is owned by the customer. Utilities recommend that customers have their natural gas appliances regularly inspected by a qualified contractor to ensure their safe and efficient operation. Natural gas utilities spend more than $19 billion per year to help enhance the safety of distribution and transmission pipelines.
AGA and its members continue to support national efforts to improve natural gas use through development of national model codes, standards and guidelines. AGA also supports analysis of safety data to identify safety issues and effective approaches to addressing them, such as the recommendation for incentives for state governments to promote effective excavation damage prevention in their states.
AGA Contact: Christina Sames, (202) 824-7214, email@example.com