More than 90 percent of damages to natural gas lines are preventable according to FortisBC.
“In the Cariboo region we’ve seen that in 2016 there were about 36 incidents of damage to our natural gas lines, and then in the last year there was a good reduction in numbers,” says corporate communications advisor Diana Sorace.
“It was down to 21, but even then it is still important to remember that if you’re excavating or even gardening in your backyard like planting a tree you need to call BC One Call before doing any type of work that involves digging.”
Of the more than 1,200 incidents of natural gas line damages from an excavation in the province last year 60 percent of are related to work done by contractors, 30 percent are related to work done by homeowners, and three percent 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.
“FortisBC’s natural gas system delivers vital energy to homes, businesses, schools, and hospitals every day. When a natural gas line is damaged, it can have serious consequences and interrupt service,” said Ian Turnbull, damage prevention and emergency services manager at FortisBC.
Annual repair costs incurred can range between $1.5 to $2 million and FortisBC says it seeks to recover costs associated with repairs from any person or organization that damages its underground utilities.