PG&E Gas Pipeline Testing: “Pigging” & Traffic Alerts

Water tank on 1300 block of Crestview Drive, San Carlos

PG&E is up to Update #6 on its natural gas pipeline testing in San Carlos and as the company itself noted, the “work schedule is subject to change.” So the LSS scouted locations today and here’s the latest on what’s happening and where:

On Crestview Drive/1300 block, in a lot between two houses, crews are pumping water from a hydrant into two giant square tanks, each holding about 20,000 gallons of water. The water from the tanks will be used to clean the section of pipe that runs from the watershed (in the hills) to Crestview. This is in preparation for actual hydrostatic testing…sometime later this week.

At Highway 280 to Crestview (Pipeline Segment T-43), crews are hoping to begin hydrostatic testing on October 12 or 13 as the pipe is still being cleaned.

Brittan Avenue near Milano Way

On Brittan and Milano Way (west of the Alameda), expect traffic disruption in both directions on Brittan, even though work is on the eastbound lane.

The LSS talked to Steve Soman, a third party inspector with Canus Corporation, which provides engineering and technical contracting services to utilities and other clients.

Soman says crews are ‘pigging the line,” meaning they’re filling it with water (causing a noise that sounds like a pig squeal) and also making sure there are no obstructions.

The water, according to Soman, is allowed to settle and then the pipe is “burped” to release the bubbles. The sudsy water then goes off for testing by PG&E chemists…something that’s done repeatedly. Only when the cleaning is completely finished will the 8-hour underground hydrostatic testing begin.

Brittan Avenue just east of Alameda de las Puglas

On Brittan/east of the Alameda: Soman says, “the worst of the excavation is over” but work continues, so expect traffic delays. Pressure testing on that section of gas line hasn’t happened yet.



Filed Under: Column 1San Carlos News


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