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Underground pipelines are a safe, reliable, and energy efficient means of transporting industrial liquids and gases. Pipeline accidents are extremely rare, but they can occur. It is important for everyone who lives and works near pipelines to know about basic pipeline safety information and procedures. It is unlikely that you would experience a pipeline leak, but should a leak occur the information contained in this brochure will help you know:

  • How to identify our pipelines
  • How to recognize a pipeline leak
  • What to do if you notice a pipeline leak
  • How to report a pipeline leak
  • What to do if you need to dig

Pipelines are buried underground and therefore out of sight. Pipeline Technology uses pipeline markers to identify the approximate location of its buried pipelines. Here are some important facts about pipeline markers and pipeline rights-of-way:
Markers indicate the product inside the pipeline, the operator of the pipeline, and the emergency number to call to contact the operator.
Markers indicate the general and not the exact location of a pipeline.
Markers do not indicate how deep the pipeline is buried or whether more than one line is present at a given location.
Pipelines do not necessarily follow a straight line between two markers
A pipeline right-of-way is the land on either side of the pipeline and can be from 10-feet to 100-feet wide. Do not dig on the right-of-way unless you have notified the Louisiana One-Call Center. Dial 811 before you dig.
For those interested in finding out about the pipelines that may be located in their community, the US Department of Transportation’s National Pipeline Mapping System provides the public with information about how to contact pipeline companies that operate nearby. For pipeline operator contact information you can use the internet to access the Dept. of Transportation web site located at: Inquiries can be made by zip code or by parish.

SIGHT: Liquid pools, dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise healthy area of vegetation, continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas, an oily sheen on water surfaces, vaporous fogs or frozen ground in warm weather can all be indicative of a pipeline leak.
SOUND: A quiet hissing to a loud roar depending upon the size of the leak
SMELL: An unusual smell, petroleum odor, sweet aromatic odor, or astringent odor


  • LEAVE THE AREA immediately by foot. Stay upwind.
  • ABANDON any equipment in use in the vicinity.
  • CALL 911 from a safe location and notify the pipeline operator using the telephone number on a nearby pipeline sign. The operator will need your name, phone number, a brief description of the incident, and the location of the leak.
  • ADVISE OTHERS not to enter the area, prior to the arrival of emergency personnel.


  • DO NOT come into contact with any escaping liquid or gas.
  • DO NOT attempt to operate any pipeline valves yourself. You may inadvertently make the situation worse.
  • DO NOT create a spark or source of ignition such as using an electrical switch in the vicinity of a leak
  • DO NOT strike a match, start or stop a vehicle, use a telephone, operate equipment or an appliance in the vicinity of a leak.
  • DO NOT ring a door bell to notify others of a leak. Knock with your hand to avoid sparks from knockers.
  • DO NOT drive into a vapor cloud when leaving the area.
  • DO NOT attempt to extinguish a fire. Wait for local firemen and emergency responders trained to deal with the such an emergency.

If you smell or see evidence of a leak call 911 and advise them of your location and nature of the leak.

Because even relatively minor excavation activities like landscaping or fencing can cause damage to a pipeline or its protective coating, always contact the Louisiana One-Call Center at least 48 hours before you dig. Recently the federal government mandated that 811 be used a single national “Call Before you Dig” number. It is easy to remember, “Before You Dig Call 811”.
Several pieces of information will be required when you contact the One-Call Center. This information will include your address and contact information and the location where you intend to dig. If the location you intend to dig does not have a street address then you will need to tell the One-Call Center its location relative to roads and other landmarks in the area.
The One-Call Center will contact Pipeline Technology as well as other companies with buried utilities in the proposed location and the utility owner or operator will send a representative, at no cost to you, to locate and mark the pipeline and other buried utilities. You may be contacted by Pipeline Technology to find out more about your planned excavation. If you dig and come into contact with one of our pipelines, STOP immediately and call us at 1-888-650-4443. A gouge, scrape, dent, or crease to the pipe or its coating could cause a future safety problem. Even minor damage that does not immediately cause a pipeline break can weaken the metal or remove a pipeline’s protective coating leading to a leak months or even years later. It is imperative that Pipeline Technology inspect and repairs any damage, no matter how minor it may appear.
A major cause of pipeline leaks is damage caused by excavation or digging. As a contractor, whether you are planning a major construction or a small landscaping project in the vicinity of pipelines, you should notify the Louisiana One-Call Center before you dig. If you will be crossing Pipeline Technology’s rights-of-way with heavy equipment or vehicles, you should contact Louisiana One-Call because special attention must be given so that the pipeline is not subjected to excessive weight. When notified in advance we will explain our construction practices and you can begin your project with the assurance that your safety and the safety of your employees and customers will not be compromised.
Farm work such as digging, cleaning ditches, plowing, leveling land, and installing fence posts can be hazardous activities near underground pipelines whether on your own property or property that you lease. These activities could put you in danger of striking or cutting into a pipeline. Mechanical and motor driven equipment can dig several feet below the surface with enough force to break the pipeline. Even merely redistributing surface soil can reduce the depth that the pipeline is buried leaving it more vulnerable to future digging or excavation. Before doing any activity discussed above in the vicinity of a pipeline notify Louisiana One-Call Center.

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