Special Safety Edition
Please share this natural gas safety information with members of your household or business
- Recognizing and responding to natural gas leaks
- Partnership is important
- Accessibility of meters
- Steps that could save your life ...
- Natural gas is safe
- How natural gas reaches your home
- Finding pipelines
Recognizing and responding to natural gas leaks
Natural gas is colorless and odorless. Gas companies add a rotten egg odorant to it, so it's distinctive and leaks can be detected immediately.
You should always call Alliant Energy to investigate a gas leak, and we’ll do so for free.
The unintentional release of gas is dangerous to you and the public, and could cause fires, explosions, injury or death. Always use extreme caution near a gas leak and recognize the possible hazards. A gas leak or damaged pipeline may be detected if you:
- Smell a rotten egg odor.
- Hear a hissing or whistling sound near a gas appliance, meter or pipeline.
- See blowing dirt, bubbling water or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area.
If you suspect a gas leak:
- Make sure gas appliances are turned all the way OFF
- Leave the area and keep others away (until you’re told you are allowed to return)
- Call 1-800-ALLIANT from a different location, so as to not create a spark with an electrical device
- Contractors: turn-off and abandon equipment; do not attempt to move any machinery
- Call 911 from a different location if you hear gas hissing or blowing
- Try to find or repair the leak
- Strike matches or create a flame of any kind
- Turn on or off any light switches, garage door openers, or other electrical switches (these may also ignite airborne gases)
- Start an engine of any kind
- Attempt to extinguish a burning gas leak
- A qualified professional should check your gas appliances annually. Inspections keep gas appliances safe and efficient, and reduce risks of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Snow and ice can damage gas meters and pipes.
- Vents for gas appliances must be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper ventilation and prevent carbon monoxide accumulation.
- Carefully use a broom to keep gas meters and vents clear during the winter.
To learn more about our integrity management program or other natural gas pipeline safety topics or call 1-800-257-3645.
Partnership is important
At Alliant Energy, we consider emergency responders and public officials to be our partners in prevention efforts. That’s why we share information regularly, participate in meetings with other pipeline companies and work with emergency responders to be prepared for any possible pipeline incident.
Accessibility of meters
To assure proper service, gas meters must be accessible. If you are planning to do work on your premises that will affect the location or accessibility of a gas meter or service line, please call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268) to arrange for us to evaluate your plans.
In order to perform required safety inspections on our pipelines, we must have clear access to the pipeline right-of-way. The area on either side of our pipelines must be kept clear of trees, fences, buildings and other structures. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.
Steps that could save your life ...
1. Call 811 before you dig811 is the national phone number that initiates the process of locating and marking the underground utility lines in your yard or at your job. Dial 811 at least three business days before you dig.
Call 811, visit call811.com or use your state contact info:
- Iowa: Iowa One Call 1-800-292-8989 iowaonecall.com
- Minnesota: Gopher State One Call 1-800-252-1166 gopherstateonecall.org
- Wisconsin: Diggers Hotline 1-800-242-8511 diggershotline.com
- Illinois: JULIE 1-800-892-0123 illinois1call.com
2. Wait the required time for facilities to be marked.
Once Call Center personnel notify area utilities, such as Alliant Energy, to mark the approximate locations of buried gas or electric lines with high-visibility safety paint and/or flags. There is no charge for this locating service.
3. Respect the marks and dig with care
When you start digging, stay at least 24 inches away from the marked lines. Hand digging with extreme caution is required when digging within the 24-inch tolerance zone.
Notify Alliant Energy if digging equipment or tools contact our underground pipelines or electric utilities. Minor damage, such as nicks, scratches, cuts, scrapes, dents, and gouges can result in pipeline failure, electric shock, or a major incident in the future if not properly assessed. Contact Alliant Energy before back-filling your excavation. If gas is blowing, call 911.
Natural gas is safe
Alliant Energy is dedicated to keeping our employees, customers, and communities safe by providing training and education on natural gas.
Stringent safety standards govern the exploration, production, transportation, distribution, and use of natural gas. At Alliant Energy, we continuously seek out new technologies in pipeline design, construction, inspections, and operations to make delivery of natural gas safe, cost-effective and secure.
Natural gas is one of the safest fuels, and Alliant Energy is committed to maintaining and improving that fine record.
How natural gas reaches your home
Natural gas is extracted from the earth and travels to your community through underground transmission pipelines. According to the National Transportation Safety Board the 2.5 million miles of pipeline in the U.S. are the safest method of transportation for natural gas.
Once the natural gas reaches your community it passes through a gate station, where the pipeline pressure is reduced and the local distribution company, like Alliant Energy, distributes the natural gas to customers. The underground pipelines within your community are called “mains” and are typically buried-in or next-to streets. Service lines, approximately a half inch to one inch in diameter, connect to the main and carry the gas to homes and businesses.
When the gas passes through a customer’s gas meter, it becomes the property of that customer. Customers are responsible for installing and maintaining the piping that natural gas flows through to reach appliances and equipment.
In most cases, there are not pipeline markers for the distribution lines inside urban service territories. So, just because you do not see a marker, does not mean a line isn’t there. Call 811 before you dig.In many cases, markers are used to indicate approximate, but not exact, locations of transmission pipelines. The markers provide a toll-free number to report problems. Transmission line markers are typically placed at public road crossings, fence lines and street intersections. Visit the National Pipeline Mapping System to learn who operates transmission pipelines in your area.
Did you know?
The leading cause of accidents on the pipeline delivery system is from damage caused by homeowners and contractors who fail to call 811 for the proper location of the pipe before they start digging or excavating.
Natural gas pipelines aren’t the only buried utility lines. Many communities have buried electrical lines, which are just as dangerous if accidental contact is made. Follow the same guidelines when digging near natural gas pipelines or electrical lines.
For customer service, call 1-800-ALLIANT (1-800-255-4268).