Consequences of Hitting a Gas Line

Don't take chances!

Safe digging and damage prevention is everyone’s responsibility. Getting a line locate is free but hitting a buried utility line is not. Ignoring the steps or rushing to get the job done can have serious consequences for you and people down the line.  Having a safe work plan in place means everyone will make it home at the end of the day.

Gas line contact can result in the following:

  • Personal injury or death 
  • Equipment and property damage
  • Loss of natural gas service and other essential services in the area
  • Loss of construction time and lengthy project delays
  • Environmental concerns
  • Fines or legal action
  • Cost of damages including SaskEnergy’s time and resources to respond, repairs to the line, restoring service to affected customers, and in some areas of Saskatchewan, fire department and first responder costs. Other charges could include paying for the escaped natural gas.

Damage to the Gas Line

Although minor damage to a natural gas line may not appear to create an issue, a nick to the coating on a steel pipe or a scratch to the plastic pipe can increase the risk of a leak or other integrity concerns. 
If you suspect damage to the gas line or if you smell natural gas:

  • Call SaskEnergy at 1-888-700-0427 and 911. If there is a danger of fire call your local fire department. 
  • Eliminate all sources of ignition and turn off all equipment, machinery, portable radios and cellular phones.
  • Evacuate the area and move people upwind if possible.
  • Prevent vehicles and bystanders from entering the area.
  • Avoid contact with any natural gas escaping from the natural gas line.
  • Notify people in nearby buildings. Gas may enter through drains if the leak is underground or through fresh air intakes and windows if gas is in the air.
  • Wait for SaskEnergy Technicians to arrive. Don’t attempt to make a repair or stop the leak by turning valves or 'pinching' off the gas line.

Responding to a Line Hit

SaskEnergy investigates every line hit. As part of our emergency response process, we will:

  • Make sure the area is safe by identifying the source of the problem
  • Clear people from the area whose safety may be at risk
  • Evacuate homes, buildings or shut down the natural gas/electrical supply, if needed
  • Make the repair to the line
  • Gain access to homes or buildings to re-light the furnace and other natural gas appliances

80% of line hits cause a service disruption to the entire neighborhood or community