PaintSquare.com
      | Connect Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook
About | Subscribe | Advertise
  

 

Learn while you earn.

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


A Fight to Root Out Pipeline Corrosion

Friday, May 2, 2014

More items for Program/Project Management

Comment | More

A California utility is locked in a showdown with private and public property owners over its plan to remove hundreds of trees that are damaging and corroding area pipelines.

San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric, one of the largest natural-gas and electric utlities in the United States, says that trees, sheds, garages and other structures on both public and private property need to be removed

Pipeline and Information Planning Alliance
Pipeline and Information Planning Alliance

Tree roots are damaging pipeline protective coatings and could rip pipes out of the ground, PG&E says.

The trees are causing significant problems throughout the company's 6,750-mile-long pipeline system, PG&E has been telling residents and county officials statewide

Tree roots can rip the protective wrap from a pipeline and destroy its first level of external corrosion protection, PG&E says.

Wrong Assumptions

Kirk Johnson, PG&E vice president of Gas Transmission Maintenance and Construction, outlined the tree removal plan at an April 22 meeting of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.

Decades ago, Johnson said, PG&E assumed that pipelines buried at least three feet deep wouldn't be bothered by tree roots. But now, he said, those roots are potentially putting systems at risk.

Not only can tree roots destroy a pipeline's protective coatings, but they can wrap themselves around the pipe.

PG&E
PG&E

Natural plantings and manmade structures can interfere with pipeline maintenance, inspection and operation, PG&E has said.

If the tree falls, say in an earthquake or wind storm, it can pull a small pipe entirely out of the ground, or put unusual stresses on larger pipes that lead to failure, Johnson said.

'Too Customer-Focused'

In the past, PG&E didn't stop residents from planting trees or building structures over pipelines; and once one person did it, many others followed suit.

Now, the company says, these structures are preventing crews from performing checks and maintenance.

"We became a little too customer-focused," Johnson said.

The utlity plans to remedy the situation with Pipeline Pathways, a five-year, $5 million, shareholder-funded program.

"This would eliminate—not mitigate, eliminate—the risk of external corrosion and wrap damage to our pipeline system from tree roots," Johnson said.

Pipeline Pathways program
PG&E

PG&E says it became "too customer-focused" by allowing people to plant trees and build structures over pipelines for decades. Now, the utility wants them removed for pipeline safety.

"We're not going to get here in the next five years. It's going to take a long time to get through all of the specific issues that cities and counties have," Johnson said.

Cities Want Negotiations

However, the plan is currently on hold while PG&E negotiates with multiple cities.

The Contra Costa Board praised Johnson for his focus on pipeline safety, but determined it needed more details before letting the utility move forward with its plan.

The company has marked hundreds of trees for removal throughout the Bay Area, NBCBayArea.com reported.

The mayor of Walnut Creek, CA, Kristina Lawson, told the news channel that 700 trees have been tagged in her area, and the city will sue to stop it if necessary.

PG&E says it won't remove any county trees or any "protected" or "ordinance" trees on private property without a written agreement in place.

The company is also working to meet with private property owners to remove "encroachments" (i.e., sheds, barns, garages and trees) and hopes to have an inventory for the counties sometime this summer.

   

Tagged categories: Corrosion; Health and safety; Inspection; Maintenance programs; Oil and Gas; Pipelines; Utilities

Comment from Mark Anater, (5/2/2014, 11:43 AM)

Here is a classic example of public vs. private interests clashing, and the response is instructive. No one will tolerate having their water service interrupted, but removing trees that represent a clear and present danger of doing just that draws an immediate, negative response. What's the utility to do about a homeowner who complains bitterly when his neighbor's tree takes out the water main, but who will meet a removal crew with a shotgun if they try to take down one of his trees?


Comment from Jim Johnson, (5/2/2014, 12:13 PM)

At least PG&E is being honest in admitting their past mistakes, is offering a realistic solution and is willing to pay for it themselves. The problem is that the solution to any problem breeds another problem.


Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

PPG Protective and Marine Coatings Group
Bringing innovation to the surface.™

PPG Protective & Marine Coatings is widely recognized as a world leader in protective and marine coatings, developing innovative, cutting-edge products and services.


Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors

Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com


Nationwide Overspray
Profession Overspray Removal Services

The Finest Name in Safe Overspray Removal. We specialize in removing all contaminants from any surface. Family Owned and Operated for 33 years! Fully insured. Satisfaction is guaranteed.


Novetas Solutions
Number 1 Crushed Glass Abrasive in America!

Manufactured from 100% Recycled Glass.
NO Crystalline Silica,
Beryllium & Arsenic
Great White Metal Finish!
4 plants on Navy QPL
Call us at 866-775-6226


Commercial Sand Blasting & Painting Ltd.
Reliable Service & Superior Workmanship

We’re ready to meet any of your protective coating and lining needs. We can work on your site or in our facilities, with large shops (60,000 sq ft), 40 acres of yard space, and cranes and forklifts on site.


CS Unitec
Work Cleaner and Safer

CS Unitec’s new ATEX Vibro-Lo Kits feature low-vibration scalers for use in hazardous environments. Kit includes dust shroud, CuBe needles, fall arrestor and lanyard.


International Paint/AkzoNobel
Rapid cure, high temperature lining

AkzoNobel introduces Enviroline 405HTR, an ultra-low VOC lining. 405HTR offers rapid return to service, and excellent chemical resistance at high temperatures.


NACE International, The Corrosion Society
Power On

Extend the life of your generation, transmission, and distribution systems by learning how to integrate corrosion control into your asset management plan.


Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal

Strip it, clean it, and profile it,
all dust free! High production
rates and Blast like finishes.
Comply with new lead
standards.


Bullard

The Next Generation
of Blasting

• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2000-2016, Technology Publishing / PaintSquare, All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com