Safe, Sound and Underground

The natural gas pipeline infrastructure, which includes 2.1 million miles of local utility distribution pipeline, is the nation's safest energy delivery system, according to U.S. government statistics. One reason for these findings may be that gas utilities and pipeline companies, including Liberty Utilities, spend a combined $7 billion annually on safety measures. Liberty Utilities also has experienced personnel that routinely inspect and maintain natural gas service lines, and service crews are available to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day.


Respecting the Right-of-Way (ROW)

To reduce this risk of pipeline damage, strips of land known as ROWs are sometimes established along a pipeline's path. The ROW can measure from 25 to 150 feet wide.

A ROW can be located within land owned by Liberty Utilities or by another party. If the land is owned by another party, we receive an easement, which is an agreement that grants Liberty Utilities the right to access the area and to restrict certain activities within the ROW.

When used, a pipeline marker shows only the approximate location of the pipeline and displays the material transported, the operator's name and an emergency telephone number.

The location and depth of a pipeline can vary within a ROW. Be aware that pipeline markers cannot be used to determine the precise location of a pipeline and that the placement of markers is physically prevented in some locations.

Right-of-Way Purpose

A pipeline right-of-way enables Liberty Utilities to:

  • gain access to the pipeline for inspection, maintenance, testing, or emergencies
  • maintain an unobstructed view for aerial surveillance
  • identify an area that restricts certain activities to protect a) the landowner, b) the community through which the pipeline passes, and c) the pipeline itself

Pipeline markers may be located where a pipeline crosses roads, railways, waterways and other intervals along the ROW.

Encroachments on a ROW

Permanent structures are not permitted on the ROW because they obstruct access and interfere with our ability to safely operate the pipeline. Prohibited obstructions may include, but are not limited to:

  • houses, mobile homes, and trailers
  • trees
  • garages, tool sheds
  • poles
  • swimming pools, decks
  • septic tanks

Pipeline MarkersPipeline Marker

Most natural gas pipelines are not marked. Exceptions may include places where a gas transmission line crosses a major road, or is located in a gas pipeline ROW. Standard marking color for natural gas facilities is yellow. Liberty Utilities installs above-ground markers to indicate the location of buried pipelines and natural gas lines. These pipeline markers provide the utility name and a 24/7 emergency contact number. Originally, the markers were developed by the gas industry and have since been incorporated into federal regulations governing the industry. The natural gas industry is cooperating with other energy associations to standardize temporary marking of underground utilities to further enhance public safety.


Helpful Resources

We've provided links to some important pipeline related Web sites below, where you can learn more about safety issues.

Please note: Liberty Utilities provides links to external sites for your convenience. Liberty Utilities is not responsible for the content of these sites.

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