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Public Safety » Gas Safety » Important Message about Sewer Lateral Work

Important Message about Sewer Lateral Work

If damage to a natural gas service line results from penetration of a sewer lateral, a potentially hazardous situation exists. This is because of the mechanical, rooter equipment used to clear the lateral. Collapsed sewer walls can also cause rooter equipment to be misdirected outside of the sewer, bringing the equipment dangerously close to other buried utilities.

Damage to a natural gas service line can lead to:

  • gas leak/gas migration
  • fire
  • explosion

Safety Precautions
Before starting the process of cleaning out a sewer lateral, remember to:

  • Follow your state's Call Before You Dig law.
  • Look for a Sewer Lateral Tag on the sewer clean out or under the kitchen drain pipe (if not present, ask if a Sewer Lateral Tag was delivered to the property).
  • Use a camera to identify the condition of the sewer lateral.
  • Contact Duke Energy at 800-634-4300 for assistance in locating natural gas service lines.
  • Determine whether the natural gas service line to the property has been recently installed or upgraded.
  • Determine whether there has been any recent excavation in the area.

Awareness of Work Conditions
During the process of cleaning out a sewer lateral, be alert to any unusual conditions, which may include:

  • Hissing sounds
  • Natural gas odor
  • Blowing dirt
  • Bubbling water

Emergency Procedures
Always remember, if you suspect a natural gas leak or contact with a natural gas line has occurred:

  • Leave the premises immediately.
  • Instruct others to leave the premises immediately.
  • Contact Duke Energy from a safe location at 800-634-4300.
  • Call 911.
  • Keep others a safe distance away.

Do Not:

  • Operate any electricity while in the premises.
  • Attempt to operate any pipeline system equipment.
  • Turn vehicles or equipment on or off.
  • Use anything that might create a spark, such as a cell phone or matches without first leaving the area and arriving at a safe location.

Call Before You Dig Contact Information
Before starting any underground work, always contact your state underground protection service to identify the location of underground lines by calling 811.

Duke Energy Contact Information
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Duke Energy toll-free at 800-544-6900.