1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Huge fire in San Bruno from 30" Gas Main Explosion

Discussion in 'The OT' started by phrelin, Sep 10, 2010.

  1. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

    1,006
    0
    Oct 11, 2007
    I 100% agree that any energy delivery system that can deliver that kind of punch needs a circuit breaker like device to stop the flow in case of large breach.

    It should be a mandate.
     
  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    45,954
    1,026
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    In the early media reports there was a resident who claimed he reported the smell of gas three weeks ago, with PG&E coming out but apparently not doing anything. The witness reported that the odor was stronger near an intersection but that intersection was not identified as the one where the explosion occurred. The witness said that many neighborhoods had such odors.
     
  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    15,053
    317
    Jan 18, 2007
    Northern...
    In the past couple of years, in Sacramento two homes have blown up after PG&E checked around. One around Christmas 2008 is discussed in the SF Weekly:
    In that situation PG&E finally reported that the wrong pipe was used to repair a line.

    The other one was in July 2010 and was not caused by PG&E, but they didn't exactly hustle out there. From a UPI story:
    We, of course, are talking about "the new PG&E", not the heavily regulated one that I grew up with that constantly complained about the heavy hand of the California PUC.
     
  4. barryb

    barryb New Member

    2,937
    3
    Aug 26, 2007
    Death toll now officially at 7, with 6 considered missing.

    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39120986/ns/us_news-life/
     
  5. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

    9,491
    523
    Jun 13, 2009
    This is interesting because the natural gas is odorless, the odor is added by the gas company. I have been told that high pressure transmission lines don't have the odor added. Has the local news been able to confirm the odor being in this line?
     
  6. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

    9,491
    523
    Jun 13, 2009
    Last winter we dug a basement and in the front yard in about a 100' easement there were 3 Trans-Canada 800 PSI gas mains that never got located. The locater for the cable and phone called me to give a heads up that they were there.

    The employees for the pipeline swear they never got the ticket, and it was interesting that while using normal locating devices, they also used feeling rods to confirm the locations of the mains. Better to be safe than dead.
     
  7. la24philly

    la24philly Hall Of Fame

    1,714
    0
    Mar 8, 2010
    What I want to know is could have this been prevented. Aren't their gauges and readings and warnings that could have detected all of this.

    Plus what were people doing or using.

    if this just happend for the hell of it i wonder if it will happen again. I feel bad for everyone of those people and hope obamanomics can do something.
     
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    NTSB yesterday said this was a high risk pipeline. Then they went on to explain what they meant: A large high pressure line, that had been laid before the houses were built there, didn't require automatic shutoff valves. It is unclear if these are required for the same type line when installed near existing houses.
    They also said they will be reviewing other places where this same condition exists, as this apparently is fairly common, where a pipeline is laid and the town later has built up round it.
     
  9. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    45,954
    1,026
    Apr 17, 2003
    Michiana
    Around here the larger lines have cleared rights-of-way that are not covered by roads (roads cross the ROW, and parking lots are built over them in places, but it remains pretty obvious that a line exists there).

    I suppose that land is at a greater premium in some areas and the short cut is to use the pipeline ROW for a road. Not a good idea. The open ROWs allow access to the line for maintenance and keep repetitive and heavy traffic from driving the length of the line.

    I assume that this 30" line is the same or bigger than the lines I've seen in their own ROWs? Obviously as the feeders get smaller running along the side of streets and up to houses those don't get private ROWs. But the larger feeders across counties or states are pretty well marked.
     
  10. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    42,684
    349
    Dec 9, 2006
    This one was a main supply/backbone, but not to the neighborhood it ran through. I think the whole idea of branch feeders is so by the time they're near a home, the size & pressure is such that nothing like this can happen.
    In the case above where PG&E used improper pipe which cause the loss of a home, it was limited to one home with maybe some damage to the homes on either side.
    Like with the powerlines out here, it seems this should have had a parkway of some width over it and the street be on each side of it. Land is at a premium out here, and I have to assume no one ever thought something like this would have happened, but in hindsight, what they did here and it seems in other places, was just dumb.
    Nowhere near as bad as this, but in the south bay, a developer managed to convince the local board, that a two foot high 10 mil sheet of plastic stapled to the back fence, was equivalent to the levee needed for flood control, which of course later proved to be insufficient.
     

Share This Page