by The Publisher 6/23/12
Submitted by Board of Health Agent Michael Graf.
This will make you think next time you dig a post hole.
You may or may not know about the law requiring you to call for utility locating before you do any excavation.
A December article published on the Lynchburg News Advance website notes:
Outside corrosion caused the rupture and subsequent explosion in September of a natural gas pipeline just north of the town of Appomattox. "The analysis of Williams Gas Company's pipeline showed that the thinning wasn't fully captured by the tools used to examine the pipes in service," said John Batchelder, a pipeline integrity expert with the company.
"In the life of this pipeline, the coating became compromised," he said. "The rocks in this ditch make it very difficult to protect this area."
The gas pipe explosion occurred around 7:45 am on Sunday, 14th September 2008 near the town of Appomattox, Virginia. A September 14 article on the Lynchburg News Advance website notes:
"It was what can only be described as a massive fireball, a quarter- to a half-mile tall and at least that wide," said Appomattox County Deputy John Mattox, who was patrolling rural Log Cabin Road when the explosion occurred. "I couldn't see to the other side of it because that fireball was so massive. "The concussion of it almost knocked me off my feet a quarter mile away, and the heat… I thought it was coming for me and I couldn't get back fast enough."
Five people were injured and two homes were destroyed in the blast.
Vast and complex cable and pipe networks service our modern towns and cities. Inadvertently hitting a pipe or cable could have far-reaching consequences for the digger and the wider community.
Don't let the gas main do the digging for you. Call Dig Safe before you dig at 811. Then you can stand back and admire the hole you dug. There is also a trench law in affect which may require a permit from the Holliston Building Inspector (508.429.0606) before you dig.