Pipeline Safety

The Laurens CPW owns and operates hundreds of miles of natural gas distribution pipelines. This vast network of underground pipelines is used to transport clean, efficient natural gas energy to our customers. The pipelines are located in residential area and business districts. The transmission and distribution pipelines, which are buried under ground, operate at various pressures. Some of these pressures can be as much as 270 PSIG.

The Laurens CPW has an excellent reputation for operating these pipelines in a safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible manner – but pipeline safety is everyone’s responsibility.

Whether you are a homeowner or business owner with a pipeline crossing your property, or a construction company working on a project in the vicinity of a pipeline, knowing the basics about pipeline safety will help you avoid unnecessary damage to the pipeline, property damage and personal injury.

 How to know if a pipeline is near

The Laurens natural gas main lines are designated with yellow markers and signs, which stand about 4 feet high. You will see the markers where pipelines cross roadways, and periodically along the rest of the route. These signs provide a number to reach the Laurens CPW at any time: 864.681.4300. Careless digging during construction or landscaping work is what typically causes damage to pipelines. Such damage does not necessarily cause an immediate gas leak, but may result in a leak at a later time. To prevent damage to the Laurens CPW natural gas pipelines, please call the PUPS (Palmetto Utility Protection Service) One-Call Service at 811 at least 72 hours before starting any type of digging, grading or similar activity. The Laurens CPW personnel will come out to the site to advise you of the location of the pipeline.

 Signs of a leak along the right-of-way include

  • Dead or discolored vegetation, dirt blowing up in the air
  • An odor similar to that of rotten eggs
  • A hissing or roaring sound, water bubbling from the ground

 What to do if a leak is detected or suspected

If you notice any of these conditions, leave the area immediately and warn others to keep away.
  1. Contact your local fire department 911 and the Laurens CPW at 864.681.4300
  2. Shut off any machinery or equipment and avoid creating sparks.
  3. Do not strike a match, start an engine or switch on or off an electrical switch in the area.
  4. Do not try to extinguish a natural gas fire and do not try to operate pipeline valves.

 Important things to know about living or working near a natural gas pipeline

  • It is illegal to remove or damage Laurens CPW pipeline markers or signs.
  • No permanent structures (homes, businesses, storage buildings, sheds, deer stands, etc.) or bodies of water (pools, ponds, lakes) may be built over a pipeline or service.
  • Installation of fences and other utility lines must be installed with adequate distance from natural gas pipelines. Please contact the Laurens CPW at 864.681.4300 prior to construction for distance information. Please call the PUPS (Palmetto Utility Protection Service), One-Call Service at 811 at least 72 hours before starting any type of digging, grading or similar activity.
  • No trees or shrubbery may be planted directly over natural gas pipelines, including service lines. Building materials such as lumber, rocks, or dirt may not be stored directly over natural gas pipelines. Changing ground elevation by adding or removing soil should not be performed until the Laurens CPW and PUPS have been contacted.