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PDFWAC 480-93-188

Gas leak surveys.

(1) Each gas pipeline company must perform gas leak surveys using a gas detection instrument covering the following areas and circumstances:
(a) Over all mains, services, and transmission lines including the testing of the atmosphere near other utility (gas, electric, telephone, sewer, or water) boxes or manholes, and other underground structures;
(b) Through cracks in paving and sidewalks;
(c) On all above ground piping (may be checked with either a gas detection instrument or with a soap solution);
(d) Where a gas service line exists, the gas pipeline company must conduct a leak survey at the building wall at the point of entrance, using a bar hole if necessary; and
(e) Within all buildings where gas leakage has been detected at the outside wall, at locations where escaping gas could potentially migrate into and accumulate inside the building.
(2) Each gas pipeline company must maintain, test for accuracy, calibrate and operate gas detection instruments in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations. If there are no written manufacturer's recommendations or schedules, then the gas pipeline company must test such instruments for accuracy at least monthly, but not to exceed forty-five days between testing, and at least twelve times per year. The gas pipeline company must recalibrate or remove from service any such instrument that does not meet applicable tolerances. Records of accuracy checks, calibration and other maintenance performed must be maintained for five years.
(3) Each gas pipeline company must conduct gas leak surveys according to the following minimum frequencies:
(a) Business districts - At least once annually, but not to exceed fifteen months between surveys. All mains in the right of way adjoining a business district must be included in the survey;
(b) High occupancy structures or areas - At least once annually, but not to exceed fifteen months between surveys;
(c) Gas pipelines operating at or above two hundred fifty psig - At least once annually, but not to exceed fifteen months between surveys;
(d) Where the gas system has cast iron, wrought iron, copper, or noncathodically protected steel - At least twice annually, but not to exceed seven and one-half months between surveys; and
(e) Unodorized gas pipelines - At least monthly.
(4) Each gas pipeline company must conduct special leak surveys under the following circumstances:
(a) Prior to paving or resurfacing, following street alterations or repairs where gas pipelines are under the area to be paved, and where damage could have occurred to gas pipelines;
(b) In areas where substructure construction occurs adjacent to underground gas pipelines, and damage could have occurred to the gas pipeline, each gas pipeline company must perform a gas leak survey following the completion of construction, but prior to paving;
(c) Unstable soil areas where active gas pipelines could be affected;
(d) In areas and at times of unusual activity, such as earthquake, floods, and explosions; and
(e) After third-party excavation damage to services, each gas pipeline company must perform a gas leak survey from the point of damage to the service tie-in.
(5) Each gas pipeline company must keep leak survey records for a minimum of five years. At a minimum, survey records must contain the following information:
(a) Description of the system and area surveyed (including maps and leak survey logs);
(b) Survey results;
(c) Survey method;
(d) Name of the person who performed the survey;
(e) Survey dates; and
(f) Instrument tracking or identification number.
(6) Each gas pipeline company must perform self audits of the effectiveness of its leak detection and recordkeeping programs. Each gas pipeline company must maintain records of the self audits for five years. Self audits must be performed as frequently as necessary, but not to exceed three years between audits. At a minimum, self audits should ensure that:
(a) Leak survey schedules meet the minimum federal and state safety requirements for gas pipelines;
(b) Consistent evaluations of leaks are being made throughout the system;
(c) Repairs are made within the time frame allowed;
(d) Repairs are effective; and
(e) Records are accurate and complete.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 80.04.060 and 81.88.040. WSR 08-12-046 (Docket PG-070975, General Order R-549), § 480-93-188, filed 5/30/08, effective 6/30/08. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040, 81.01.010, and 81.88.060. WSR 07-18-010 (Docket PG-061027, General Order R-544), § 480-93-188, filed 8/23/07, effective 9/23/07. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.04.160, 80.28.210, and 80.01.040. WSR 05-10-055 (Docket No. UG-011073, General Order No. R-520), § 480-93-188, filed 5/2/05, effective 6/2/05. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. WSR 92-16-100 (Order R-375, Docket No. UG-911261), § 480-93-188, filed 8/5/92, effective 9/5/92; Order R-105, § 480-93-188, filed 5/18/77.]
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