It feels like Squamish has had a lot of natural gas leaks, doesn’t it?
So what the heck?
Folks ought to be more careful, right? We thought so.
Turns out perception isn’t reality in this case.
(And yes, we know ‘natural gas’ is a fossil fuel energy source. We use the term here so we all know what we are talking about.)
The Squamish Chief asked FortisBC for the stats, and — Squamish does pretty well.
Of course, one time hitting a gas line is too many, some would say.
“When residents or contractors damage a utility line, they threaten public safety, risk interrupting service to a large number of customers and risk footing the bill for costly repairs,” a spokesperson for Fortis said, adding lots of folks depend on the seamless delivery of gas, such as at schools and hospitals.
But Squamish has typically had fewer instances of damage to natural gas lines than other places and has seen lots of outreach to BC 1 Call — which is the line to call if you are going to dig on a property.
In both 2021 and 2022, Fortis crews attended two third-party incidents of damage to natural gas lines in Squamish. This was down from four third-party damages in 2020.
In both 2021 and 2022, BC 1 Call received almost 1,100 requests for location information in Squamish (1,077 and 1,085, respectively). This was up from 781 requests in 2020.
So there is a lot of digging going on, which is not surprising given our construction boom, but we aren’t messing up very often.
Who knew? Good job, Squamish.
Across the province, on average, around 65% of the damage done to natural gas lines is by contractors.
Approximately 90% of the damage done to natural gas lines in B.C. is preventable, according to the company.
Anyone digging with equipment or machinery is required to dig by hand first to expose any buried utility lines.
If you plan on digging, contact BC 1 Call by visiting the website or by calling 1‐800‐474‐6886 at least three days before you need to dig.