Many utility lines are installed using “trenchless” technology, also known as “directional boring,” because it avoids disrupting landscaping, sidewalks and streets. On rare occasions, a natural gas line installed using trenchless technology can intersect accidentally with an existing sewer line, creating what’s called a “cross bore.” While a natural gas cross bore is not hazardous immediately, cleaning sewers with mechanical devices can damage intersecting natural gas lines, releasing natural gas and causing unsafe conditions. Special attention is required when cleaning clogged sewer lines if natural gas lines are present.
Before you (or your plumber) start any sewer work, think ACT. When you ACT, you do your part to keep yourself and your community safe. You can prevent emergenices by calling 811 before clearing a clog.
If you suspect a cross bore is present, stop work immediately and call Virginia Natural Gas at 1.877.572.3342 to report a gas emergency. Be sure to let the customer service representative know that you have discovered a cross bore. Virginia Natural Gas will dispatch resources to remove the cross bore safely.
Contact our Natural Gas Advantage Dealers to find a qualified professional near you that can perform this work safely. Click here or contact our Energy Connections Center at (855) 342.7820.
Know the signs of a natural gas leak: a rotten egg or skunk-like odor or a hissing or bubbling sound in standing water. Be aware that some individuals may not be able to detect the smell of the natural gas odorant because they have a diminished sense of smell, because the scent is being masked by other odors in the area or because the odorant has diminished so that it is not detectable.
If a natural gas line is damaged accidentally or you smell natural gas: