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Hits to natural gas lines are on the rise in BC

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Summary

More than 1,000 gas lines in BC are being damaged during excavation

Contractors to blame for most gas line hits in BC, says Fortis BC

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – April is “Dig Safe Month” and Fortis BC is releasing alarming statistics about the number of hits to natural gas lines and the company says it’s on the rise.

Last year across BC, there were more than 1,200 incidents of natural gas lines being damage due to excavation.

Damage by the numbers in 2017 (source: Fortis BC)

  • 60 per cent of natural gas line damages are related to work done by contractors
  • 30 per cent are related to work done by homeowners
  • Three per cent are related to municipal activity
  • The rest of natural gas line damage is caused by other utilities, motor vehicle accidents hitting gas meters or other events

 

The company’s Diana Sorace says in the Lower Mainland, there has been a year-over-year rise of issues. “Three hundred of those occurred in Vancouver, Surrey and Abbotsford and it’s on the rise, compared to 2016, there was over 200 and we just want people to be aware that if they’re doing any type of digging that they call BC One Call to avoid hitting a gas line.”

She adds annual repair costs incurred can range between $1.5 to $2 million. “Fortis BC does recover all costs associated with repairs from any person or organization that damages the utility. So, they can be quite hefty fines depending on the location of the line.”

Sorace says 60 per cent of the damage was caused by contractors.