Early morning on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 nearly 4,500 natural gas customers in St. Brieux, Kinistino, Melfort and the surrounding area lost natural gas service to their homes and businesses due to the pipeline rupture.
By mid-morning, the source of the pressure drop was identified as a pipeline rupture of a high pressure transmission line between Weldon and Birch
Hills. A SaskEnergy construction crew was dispatched to the site, and repairs were completed by 9:00 p.m. that night. SaskEnergy technicians, then spent the next 48 hours restoring services, assisting customers in relighting and safely restarting their appliances, and performing system safety checks.
SaskEnergy’s has determined that the pipeline that ruptured had been damaged sometime in the past 3 years, leaving numerous gouges and indications it was dented
Investigation into pipeline rupture indicates previously unreported damage
“SaskEnergy has received the initial results from its investigation into the January 10th, 2018 pipeline rupture in the Melfort area.
SaskEnergy’s engineering specialists have determined that there was previously unreported damage to this natural gas transmission pipeline, which occurred within the past three years. These results have been verified by an independent laboratory which specializes in metallurgical analysis.
The six-inch high pressure transmission pipeline was last inspected in 2015, using two different types of tools inserted inside the pipe; the first checked for loss of steel due to corrosion or damage, while the second tool check for dents. Neither tool indicated any signs of corrosion or damage.
The laboratory results confirm that, at the location of the rupture, the pipeline had been struck with sufficient impact to leave numerous gouges. While the pipeline did not rupture at the time of the damage, it was dented, weakening the steel; the damaged section gave way on the morning of January 10th.
This incident proves how critical it is to have all buried infrastructure clearly marked prior to any excavation project in urban or rural areas. To have underground utility lines marked, free of charge, contact Sask 1st Call at 1-866-828-4888, go to www.sask1stcall.com or download the smartphone app.
If contact is made with a natural gas line, whether it ruptures or not, SaskEnergy must be contacted immediately, 24-hours a day at 1-888-700-0427.” – SaskEnergy