Pipelines are essential to the smooth operation of many industries and residential life throughout this country. There are pipelines in various areas around the country, with some in locations that individuals may not even be aware of. Regardless of whether or not you know, there is a pipeline located near you, it is important to understand what to do if you notice a pipeline leak. Here, we want to discuss how to recognize where a pipeline is and how to recognize a pipeline leak.
Recognizing an oil pipeline leak when the pipeline is above ground is not terribly difficult. Any worker or passerby in the vicinity will likely be able to see that there is a leak, and they should contact appropriate authorities immediately.
However, many oil pipelines throughout this country are buried beneath the ground. Many of these buried pipelines used in the transportation of natural gas and petroleum products are identified by markers above ground. These pipeline markers are located along certain pipeline routes, and they should give an individual an idea about the approximate location of the pipeline.
Each pipeline marker provides important information for the general public and emergency responders. This includes the name of the company that operates the pipeline, the product being transported, and a phone number that should be called in the event an emergency occurs. Pipeline markers are also located where the pipeline intersects with a railway, highway, or regular street.
Some of the most common indicators of a pipeline leak include the following:
If you suspect there is a pipeline leak, there are various steps that you can take immediately. To ensure the safety of yourself and others in the vicinity of the pipeline, you should:
If you suspect a pipeline leak, you should never attempt to operate the pipeline or the valves yourself. This could cause more problems. Do not use any open flames, electrical switches, or matches. You should also not use any cell phone or mobile electronic device in the area of the suspected pipeline leak.