PG&E has taken many steps to enhance the safety of our operations. As part of this effort, we are planning to conduct safety tests known as Hydrostatic Pressure Tests throughout our natural gas pipeline system. PG&E will begin performing these tests in May around various locations in the service area.
The testing involves pressurizing a section of pipe with water to a much higher level than the pipe will ever operate with natural gas, and the test will validate the safe operating pressure of the pipeline.
Performing a hydrostatic test involves the following steps:
Extensive planning takes place long before a hydrostatic pressure test is performed to minimize any inconvenience to customers and local neighborhoods. Depending on the location of staging areas at both ends of the pipe section to be tested, you may notice the following:
In addition, depending on the location of gas venting and weather patterns, you may smell gas. This situation is safe. The pipeline is cleared of gas utilizing a safe and common technique. While gas odors are likely from the work being done nearby, safety is our top priority and we encourage any resident who has questions or concerns about the smell of gas to call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-743-5000.
PG&E has a comprehensive inspection and monitoring program to ensure the safety of its natural gas transmission pipeline system.
PG&E provides monthly status reports on the status of its hydrostatic testing efforts for the 152 miles of "Priority 1" pipeline.
Download the October 2011 Hydrostatic Testing Report.