Note the nature and location of the pipeline leak and call the fire service on 111 immediately (the Fire Service has internal procedures to ensure that Core Group is immediately advised of any incidents on a high pressure pipeline).
What to do in an Emergency
Call Emergency Services
Switch off all machinery and remove all sources of ignition, including mobile phones.
Clear the Area
Advise any bystanders of the dangers and clear the area for a distance of at least 100 metres and move up wind.
DO NOT start any vehicles for removal
DO NOT attempt to extinguish ignited fires on your own
DO NOT try to cover the damaged area with any material, including digger buckets
For incidents involving pipeline exposure, damage or signs of defects please contact Core Group on:
0800 267 347, 24 hours a day – even if it appears minor.
If you are unsure of who to contact call the NZ Fire Service, 111, in the first instance.
High Pressure Pipeline Locations
High pressure pipelines are located in registered easements located on private property which allow pipeline owners/operators to have access for inspection and maintenance, and to control activities to prevent possible pipeline damage. Easement widths do vary but they are generally 12 metres wide for a single pipeline and increase by 4 metres for each additional pipeline. The location of high pressure gas and petroleum pipelines are clearly marked.
LOOK OUT FOR:
High pressure pipelines are buried with an approximate coverage of 900mm, although this can vary.
Any work which may affect the integrity of a pipeline or the surrounding easement needs to be approved by Core Group. For your own safety Core Group provides pipeline location, supervision and work permit services free of charge for up to four hours.
Permits to Work
You must obtain a permit for all works within an easement or road reserve near a high pressure pipeline, this includes:
The planting of shrubs and trees on the easement must be carefully controlled. Some planting is permitted but is dependent upon plant type, pipe depth, pipe-wrap type and water table depth.
Contact Core Group for advice on the allowable species and spacing and we will issue you with the appropriate permit.
How to Gain a Permit:
Plan your activity
Allow at least 2 working days for notification of any works within the vicinity of a pipeline. High risk activities may require longer.
Meet on Site
We will arrange to meet you at the site where the work is to be undertaken to locate and identify the pipeline, and then issue you with a permit to work.
Follow the permit instruction
The permit to work sets out the minimum safety conditions applicable to the proposed work. Do not work without a permit, or you could be liable for any damage to the pipeline and the surrounding easement.
If in any doubt as to what to do, contact Core Group
Our Emergency and after hours number is 0800 267 347.
Pipeline Products and Leaks
Despite all precautions, leaks have occurred in pipeline systems around the world.
Pipeline signs indicate the product contained in the pipeline. Different products have different characteristics and any escaping product is potentially dangerous and warrants caution and immediate action when discovered.
Natural Gas is highly flammable. A leak on a gas pipeline may be recognised by the characteristic natural gas odour or the hiss of gas escaping from the pipeline. Dead, dying or discoloured vegetation can indicate leaks and the ground near the pipeline may be frozen.
Oil / condensate
Oil/Condensate is a flammable liquid with a hydrocarbon odour. Leaks in an oil/condensate pipeline may show the same signs as those from a gas pipeline with dead or dying vegetation. A small leak may do no more than moisten the surrounding soil but a large leak may create a pool of liquid.
Methanol is a flammable liquid which is toxic if ingested. It has no colour and little odour, and this makes it difficult to identify visually as it looks like water, so any suspected leak should be treated as being methanol until proven otherwise.