Consequences of a Line Hit

What happens when a line is hit?

Learn to recognize signs of trouble. You may be able to detect a gas leak from a pipeline by sight, smell or sound.
  • Smell: Natural Gas is odourless, therefore mercaptan, which smells like “sulphur” or “rotten egg”, is added as means to help alert of leaks.
  • Sight: Natural gas is colourless, but vapour, a plume or “ground frosting” may be visible at higher pressures. A gas leak may also be indicated by bubbles in wet or flooded areas, distinct patches of dead vegetation, dust blowing from a hole in the ground or flames if the leak has ignited.
  • Sound: A hissing or roaring noise (if it is a high pressure line) could also indicate a natural gas leak.

In a wide-open area, because natural gas is lighter than air, the natural gas escapes up into the atmosphere, reducing potential danger of explosion or fire. In an enclosed area, there is great concern for safety and immediate evacuation of the area may be required.

How does Rocky Gas Co-op Ltd. respond?

To repair a hit line and restore service, generally Rocky Gas Co-op will:

  • Make the area safe by identifying the source of the problem and ensuring the site has been cleared of anyone whose safety may be at risk. This may include evacuation of nearby homes or buildings and, if necessary, shutting down the natural gas and/or electrical power to the area.
  • Dig down to the line.
  • Shut off the line upstream of the break to stop the flow of natural gas.
  • Make the repair to the line.
  • If required, gain access to each home or building to re-light the furnace and natural gas appliance pilot lights.
  • Depending on the nature of the hit line, other organizations such as the local fire department and or appropriate government agencies may also be involved.


Who pays repair costs?

Rocky Gas Co-op investigates every hit line and calculates the cost to repair the line and restore service.

To be fair to our customers who do dig responsibly, we will collect all costs from the individual or company that caused the damage. It may be as little as a few hundred dollars or as much as thousands of dollars.

The cost includes Rocky Gas Co-op Ltd.’s time and resources to respond, repair the line and restore service to affected customers, the cost of the escaping natural gas, loss of revenues, and – in some areas of our franchise – the fire department and other first responder costs.


Phone(403) 845-2766

Fax(403) 845-5720


4922 43 St, Box 697
Rocky Mountain House, AB
T4T 1A5

Copyright: 2017
Rocky Gas Co-op Ltd.

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