We’re Committed to Your Safety

At Southwest Gas, safety is and will always be our top priority. Safety is a shared responsibility that our workforce of more than 2,300 take to heart as we go to work each day.
 

Safety is personal to us.

We recognize that our most important responsibility in providing natural gas service is ensuring the safety and integrity of our natural gas systems that are in the communities we serve. We care not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because we live here, our families live here, and we are customers too.

Recently, you may have heard about a particular type of pipe - Driscopipe® 8000. You deserve to hear from us about this pipe - what we're doing to keep you safe, and what you can do as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Driscopipe® 8000?
Driscopipe® 8000 is a type of polyethylene pipe that has been installed in natural gas systems across the nation since the late 1970s.
When was Southwest Gas using Driscopipe® 8000?
Driscopipe® 8000 was installed by Southwest Gas between approximately 1980-1999. We began transitioning away from this pipe type in 1999.
Why is the Company experiencing leaks on its Driscopipe® 8000?
The large majority of Driscopipe® 8000 in the Company’s system is operating as designed. However, the Company has experienced leaks on certain segments of Driscopipe® 8000 that resulted from premature degradation of the pipe.
Under what conditions is Driscopipe® 8000 subject to premature degradation?
Premature degradation may occur when all of the following specific conditions are present:
  1. The pipe is exposed to prolonged periods of no-flow, that is, extended periods of time when gas is not flowing through it. This can occur when the pipe is inactive for an extended time (an “inactive service” pipe) or when a pipe has not been extended to a customer (“stub”).
  2. Small diameter pipe (typically less than 2-inches).
  3. The pipe is exposed to elevated temperatures for a prolonged time, as can happen in warmer climates.
What is the likelihood of this occurring?
Premature degradation in this pipe type has a low likelihood of occurrence. In fact, 99.6% of the subset of higher risk pipe has not experienced a leak from 2018 to present.
How do you know where the pipes are located?
Southwest Gas maintains records which identify the locations of underground piping as well as the install date, size, type and status (whether the pipe is actively serving a customer or has been subject to periods where no gas was flowing). This information is used in risk-based prioritization to identify pipe which may be subject to premature degradation. That pipe is then scheduled for replacement or abandonment.
Have you replaced the pipe considered at-risk?
We have replaced 99.9% of stubs and inactive services identified by our initial risk-based prioritization in 2014. As Southwest Gas continues to monitor and identify new pipes at risk, our crews continue to diligently replace or abandon these pipes as they occur.
What is Southwest Gas doing to ensure its operations are safe?
Related to premature degradation of Driscopipe® 8000, Southwest Gas has expanded our remediation plan to now include all plastic pipe installed between the years 1999 and 2001. This includes increased mobile and walking leak patrols, which utilize state-of-the-art technology to detect the presence of gas and prioritizes abandonment of inactive services and stubs.
 
Southwest Gas operates one of the newest and safest distribution systems in the country and is an industry leader in many aspects of pipeline safety, including damage prevention programs, emergency response, and pipeline safety management systems. This stems from our values of safety, quality and excellence which are deeply engrained in every aspect of our culture and operations.
 
We collaborate with other industry leaders to identify and implement best practices on a continuous basis.  Many of our operational and safety practices exceed federal and state pipeline safety code requirements. In fact, we were one of the first natural gas utilities to adopt a distribution integrity management program, long before regulations were enacted that mandated their use.
What is an integrity management program?
Distribution integrity management programs are designed to identify and prevent safety issues before they happen. This is done through a robust combination of risk modeling, inspections, investigative analysis, leak surveys and patrols, threat identification, damage prevention, public education and more. Southwest Gas’ pipeline integrity management programs meet or exceed all local state and Federal guidelines.
 
Learn more about these programs and how they keep you safe.
 
Is Driscopipe® 8000 present at my home or place of work?
To answer this question, it is important to understand what Southwest Gas is responsible for and what is the responsibility of the natural gas customer. Southwest Gas owns and rigorously maintains the natural gas piping leading up to and including the meter located on the property.
 
The natural gas piping and appliances hooked up to the Southwest Gas meter, which could be located indoors and outdoors, above and below ground are owned and must be maintained by the customer/property owner. This means Southwest Gas can only inform you about the infrastructure we own and maintain up to the meter.
 
For assistance with determining the type of natural gas piping installed beyond the Southwest Gas meter, we recommend contacting a licensed plumbing contractor. Customers who have questions or concerns about Southwest Gas infrastructure located between our meter and the gas main can call 877-860-6020 to discuss your Southwest Gas service.
What should I do to prevent a leak?
If you are planning on doing digging work in your yard or place of business, always remember to call 811 two working days before you dig so all underground utilities services near where you’re planning to dig will be marked for free. That way, you can avoid hitting a utility line.
 
Additionally, you are responsible for maintaining the pipeline from the meter to your home. This service can be provided by a licensed plumbing contractor
How do I recognize a gas leak?
Natural gas lines can be buried anywhere, even in areas where homes and businesses do not use natural gas. So, it’s important everyone knows how to recognize and respond to a leak.
 
A natural gas leak may be present if you:
  • Smell a distinct sulfur-like odor, similar to rotten eggs, even if it's faint or momentary.
  • Hear a hissing or roaring coming from the ground, aboveground piping, or a natural gas appliance.
  • See dirt or water blowing into the air, unexplained dead or dying plants or grass, or standing water continuously bubbling.
 
Visit our safety page for more valuable tips and information.
 
 
What should I do if I suspect a gas leak?
If you suspect a natural gas leak is present:
  • Exit the area or building immediately. Tell others to evacuate and leave doors open.
  • From a safe place, call 911 and Southwest Gas at 877-860-6020 , day or night. A Southwest Gas representative will be there as soon as possible.
  • Don’t smoke or use matches or lighters.
  • Don’t turn on or off any electric switches, thermostats, or appliance controls, or do anything that could cause a spark.
  • Don’t start or stop an engine or use automated garage doors.
 
Visit our safety page for more valuable tips and information.