Each year we inspect some of our natural gas transmission lines with a device that runs inside the pipe, called a “smart pig.” The smart pig tool is sent through the pipe, carrying sensors that measure corrosion, dents and deformities. Using the information the smart pig gathers, we analyze the data and determine if any repairs are necessary to keep the area near the pipeline safe and ensure that your energy supply is not interrupted.
In-line inspections like smart pigging are preferred over external inspections or pressure testing because they provide more specific data that we use to prioritize and make repairs to prevent failures before they develop into serious threats. External inspections and pressure testing may only provide a pass/fail result, but a smart pig can tell us the exact location of dents, manufacturing anomalies, corrosion and more.
How does this impact you? If you live or drive near a regulating station, you might notice more traffic than usual in the enclosed area. But you may not even notice the work happening. While you most likely won’t see a smart pig inspection occurring, you should know that we are committed to keeping our systems operating safely and efficiently through our commitment to STAR.