Natural Gas Pipeline Safety | NorthWest Arkansas Community College

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Natural Gas Pipeline Safety

Gas Pipeline Warning Sign

NWACC is committed to the health and safety of its students, faculty, staff and community who live around the campus. We acknowledge the same responsibility to parents, alumni and the numerous groups who visit our growing campus.

The safe operation and ongoing protection of natural gas pipelines is important to senior leadership and a responsibility that is taken seriously. Natural gas is one of the safest and most useful fuels we have available today, but it requires our ongoing respect and continued vigilance to ensure that it continues to serve our needs in a safe and effective manner.

NWACC Resources: Facilities and Risk Management 

Leak Response

  • DO NOT try to find the leak.
  • DO NOT use your cell phone.
  • DO NOT turn lights on or off.
  • DO NOT create fire or try to cause any sparks when leaving.

Recognizing a Natural Gas Leak

Natural gas lines are usually very safe. How do you sense the presence of natural gas?

  • With your Nose: Natural gas normally has no smell – but a chemical is added that smells like rotten eggs, sulfur or even vinegar – so that if there is a leak everyone knows it is natural gas.
  • With your Ears: A leak in a pressurized gas main will sound like a hissing noise that can range from air leaking out of a tire to a loud roar.
  • With your Eyes: If there is a gas leak, there might be fire coming up out of the ground, dirt blowing in the air or chunks of pipe and debris lying around. A less obvious sign is a large section of dead vegetation, but it’s usually obvious there’s a problem by this point.

If you detect any of these things, leave the area, tell those around you to leave, and call 911 to report the leak.


Call Before Digging

Arkansas One Call – 811

Arkansas One Call is the statewide government agency in place to protect, prevent and react to pipeline issues. The 811 hotline is there to help prevent natural gas disasters by offering services and information on digging.

You should always call One Call a few days before you dig. Arkansas laws states that the call must be made at least two days before digging and markers set in place to indicate where is safe to dig are only valid for 20 days.

Hand Digging Around Buried Facilities - Call Arkansas One Call!

Under any circumstance, if you ever see a pipeline exposed while digging, contact the Facilities Department immediately. No matter if you think you did or did not do damage to the line, it is imperative that the line be inspected prior to being covered back up. Exposed pipelines are dangerous.

Pipeline Identification and Field Markers

Field markers show different information about the pipeline. These are especially important when digging. Call Arkansas One Call if you see anybody digging without proper markers, especially if there is a field marker in place. Areas people have been cleared to dig will be marked, so somebody digging in an unmarked area is a danger to themselves and those around them.