Mountain View Voice

News - September 2, 2011

Big gas line passes pressure tests

by Daniel DeBolt

Last week PG&E checked off of its list two Mountain View sections of gas line 132, the large Peninsula pipeline that blew up in San Bruno, after pressure testing found no leaks.

On Aug. 25 crews tested a stretch of line 132 that extends from Sierra Vista Avenue near Middlefield Road to Alma Street and Colorado Avenue in Palo Alto. The line was vented of gas and then pressurized with water, at above-normal operating pressures, for more than eight hours to find leaks. None were found, said PG&E spokeswoman Brittany Chord.

Also passing that test on Aug. 13 was a section of line 132 in Mountain View that extends from Sierra Vista Avenue, where there's a PG&E valve station, to Whisman Street and Walker Avenue.

PG&E has mostly completed work to automate five gas line valves at the Sierra Vista station. Previously, the valves were closed by hand, but will now be activated remotely, providing instant action in the event of another catastrophe.

A neighbor of the Sierra Vista station complained in an email about not being notified of the tests until August 18 by a robo-call. Chord said PG&E sends letters to residents in the area before and after tests begin, and automated calls are made to residents three times during the tests to keep them updated.

Chord added that so far PG&E has conducted 20 gas pipeline pressure tests in the Bay Area and Central Valley. None of the tests have found pipeline failures.

Email Daniel DeBolt at ddebolt@mv-voice.com

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