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There are many similarities between a pipeline operator and a homeowner. Protecting the value and integrity of a pipeline for an operator is just like protecting the value of a home for its owner. Over time, both parties will invest a substantial amount of time, money and energy in order to safeguard their property from outside forces and the elements. What you might not realize is that pipelines are fairly expensive to build. The cost of just one mile of transmission pipeline can amount to more than $2 million and that only covers the pipeline’s actual construction. At more than $400 a foot, you can believe that operators take a number of steps that are critical to the maintenance of their investment. Operators take on-going measures to maintain, inspect and protect the integrity of pipeline infrastructure.

–We’ve named 20 below just to highlight a few–

1. Bury the pipe at minimum depths depending on the type and location of the line 11. Install cathodic protection to safeguard the steel from external corrosion
2. Design the strength and thickness of the steel or plastic pipelines to adhere to standards 12. Ensure employees meet minimum qualification standards
3. Coat the pipeline with protective covering to prevent damage to the pipeline 13. Participate in the one call program so facilities are marked prior to excavation
4. X-ray the welds of pipe connections to examine for any possible defects or cracks 14. Inject corrosion inhibitors to prevent corrosion from occurring inside the pipeline
5. Mark the pipeline route with appropriate markers 15. Provide on-going public awareness education to people who live and work near pipelines
6. Indicate where pipelines cross roads, waterways, and railroad tracks 16. Fly and walk the right-of-way to check for any signs of leak or encroachment
7. Monitor the pressure and flow of the commodity being transported 17. Prepare and practice emergency response procedures
8. Schedule regular cleanings for the inside of the pipe with the use of an internal device 18. Conduct testing to confirm the integrity of pipe before the line becomes operational
9. Train emergency responders to recognize a potential release and how to properly respond 19. Evaluate the risks posed to the pipeline under different operating conditions
10. Maintain clear right-of-way to facilitate periodic inspections for safe operations 20. Odorize consumer-ready gas in distribution systems