Maintenance & Monitoring

PG&E monitors its natural gas pipelines 24 hours a day and has maintenance programs in place to ensure that our system continues operating safely.

Leak Surveys and Repairs

Our 6,750 miles of larger-diameter, regional transmission pipelines are surveyed for leaks at least once per calendar year. Our 42,000 miles of smaller-diameter, neighborhood distribution pipelines are surveyed for leaks at least once every five years.

If a leak is found on a pipeline PG&E immediately identifies the severity of the leak and determines whether immediate repair is required. We log and track all gas leaks so that we can continuously monitor and repair the leaks as appropriate.

Pipeline Patrols

We regularly patrol our pipelines both aerially and by foot. This helps PG&E to identify any potential issues, such as soil erosion or construction that may affect the safety of our underground facilities.

Gas Control Centers

PG&E operates a 24-hour gas control center to monitor the flow of gas across our system and ensure it is delivered safely and reliably to customers. The gas control center can also close remotely-operated valves to stop the flow of gas in an emergency. In 2013 PG&E plans to open a new state-of-the-art gas transmission and distribution control center.

Corrosion Prevention

We maintain a corrosion prevention system, called “cathodic protection,” on our steel pipelines to prevent corrosion of the metal surface in soil. Recently, PG&E began installing new technology to allow remote monitoring of the cathodic protection systems. This system is monitored regularly to help control corrosion.

Pressure Recording Devices for Distribution System

To enhance the safety and reliability of our natural gas distribution system, we are installing new gas pressure recording equipment on distribution lines throughout PG&E’s system. Data collected from these recorders is sent directly to PG&E’s Gas Control Center. These devices monitor pressure levels and report measurements to our 24-hour system operators who make adjustments as necessary. This equipment ensures customers always have an adequate supply of gas.

Odorization of Natural Gas

We odorize our natural gas as a safety precaution to aid in the detection of gas leaks. Proper levels of odorization are verified by conducting periodic tests.

If you smell the distinct rotten egg odor or suspect an emergency situation, please leave the area and call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.