How we do visual gas line inspections

One way we routinely inspect our natural gas infrastructure is by doing integrity digs to expose small sections of gas line. The digs are necessary for us to conduct a more hands-on, visual inspection to verify the integrity of a particular section of gas line. Integrity digs are part of our Integrity Management Program, ensuring that our natural gas pipelines continue to operate in a safe, environmentally responsible and reliable manner. Regular, routine inspections and maintenance are an essential part of that program.

What does an integrity dig involve?

An integrity dig involves excavating small areas to expose a section of gas line to allow for a close-up view.

Excavation: The excavation process is conducted carefully to protect the gas line and to preserve each layer of top soil so it can be replaced later.

Inspection: The exposed section of gas line is closely inspected for anomalies. Gas line anomalies can be anything that seems out of the ordinary, including signs of corrosion, dents, metal loss or geotechnical issues. If an anomaly is observed, it's repaired and the gas line is recoated with a high performance coating before it's reburied.

Restoration: We restore the excavated site to its previous condition or better, using seeds and materials appropriate to the area.

Why are integrity digs necessary?

More and more, we’re using sophisticated in-line inspection tools, more commonly called smart pigs, to inspect the condition of our gas lines. The pigging process has enhanced our ability to detect when an anomaly is present either inside or outside a gas line. This level of detail allows us to proactively plan and manage our gas line maintenance activities to help prevent problems from occurring.

Integrity digs are planned for some sections of gas line as part of our proactive routine inspection and maintenance schedule. This work is key to reinforcing the safety of our system and ensuring we continue to provide the safe, reliable energy our customers rely on every day.

We’re here to help

For additional information about the projects we undertake to safely maintain our system, see where we’re working in your neighbourhood or call 1-888-224-2710.

You can also contact your FortisBC community relations manager at [email protected].