Peoples Gas provides safe and reliable natural gas service to more than 24,000 customers in the greater Jacksonville area. As the largest natural gas distribution company in the state, we hold safety as our first priority for our more than 365,000 customers across Florida.
Our proactive strategy of inspections, maintenance and pipe replacement meets or exceeds federal and state requirements. We constantly monitor the safety of our system with approved equipment and respond to all suspected natural gas leaks. We immediately fix any leak that affects the safety of our customers and the greater community.
After a recent methane mapping survey in Jacksonville by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Peoples Gas learned that 85 instances of methane were detected. Methane is the main ingredient in natural gas, but it has many other sources including septic tanks, sewage and wastewater treatment facilities, and marshy areas.
Of the total 85 methane detection instances, 72 were categorized as “low” and 13 were categorized as “medium.”
When we learned of the survey results, Peoples Gas located 13 non-hazardous leaks in our gas system and repaired them. It is important to note that these types of leaks rarely pose an immediate safety threat.
The EDF research has been helpful to Peoples Gas. Their advanced sniffing equipment and data helped to further evaluate our processes and leak-survey programs, much like an independent double-check. Plus, it’s good to explore new technology. Anything that helps us improve the safety and reliability of our gas system will benefit our customers.
As part of our ongoing maintenance across Florida, we are making significant progress in replacing older cast iron and bare steel pipe. Jacksonville’s natural gas infrastructure dates from the 1950s and contains no cast iron pipe. We have already replaced approximately half of the small amount of bare steel pipe installed there, and by the end of 2017, will replace all of the bare steel with state-of-the-art materials.
If you ever smell the rotten egg odor of natural gas, you should immediately contact your gas utility. For our customers that number is 877 TECO PGS (877-832-6747).