Find Pipelines Near You
Pipelines are all around you. More than two million miles of pipelines cross the United States connecting to other pipelines, manufacturing and refining centers, distribution hubs, businesses and your home. Pipelines safely transport natural gas, crude oil, gasoline, propane, ethanol and other energy products every day.
Pipelines are usually located underground to protect them from damage. They vary in size, pressure, product transported and length. There are three main types of pipelines: gathering lines, transmission lines and distribution lines. Learn more about our underground energy delivery network and how gathering, transmission and distribution lines bring energy to our homes and businesses.
Listed below are several key ways to find pipelines near you.
Permanent Pipeline Markers
Operators of gathering pipelines and natural gas transmission and hazardous liquids lines place permanent signs, called pipeline markers, along their pipeline route, at roadway and railway crossing and at aboveground facilities to identify the general location of the pipeline.
Markers can vary in size, shape and color, but all markers include important information about the pipeline including the product transported, the pipeline operator’s name and the operator’s emergency contact number to report pipeline problems. Line markers do not indicate the depth of the line, the number of lines in the area or the exact location of a pipeline. Pipelines maintained by your local gas company typically do not have permanent pipeline markers.
If you are planning to dig or plant, even if you see a pipeline marker, you must call 811 or your local One-Call center to have pipelines located and marked before digging. Depending on the specifics of your project, the pipeline operator may elect to be onsite while you are digging.
Pipeline markers are important safety signs. It is a federal crime to willfully deface, damage, remove or destroy a pipeline marker. If you notice a damaged marker, or accidentally damage a marker, please contact the pipeline operator. See examples of different marker shapes.
Flags, Paint and Temporary Markings
Most states require that you call your local One-Call center by dialing 811 prior to excavating near pipelines or other underground utility lines. One Call coordinates with operators who use yellow flags, paint and stakes to mark the location of their pipelines. Review a summary of your state’s One-Call law and read more below about the One-Call process in the “Know What’s Below.” section.
The federal government provides online maps to help you locate pipelines in or near your community through the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS). Maps generated by NPMS show the approximate location of gas and hazardous liquids transmission pipelines in relation to specific addresses, major roads, zip codes, cities and counties.
You can also use NPMS to access contact information for transmission pipeline operators in your community. Operator contact information can be sorted by state, county or zip code and typically includes the operator’s name, product transported, contact name and phone number. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) manages NPMS.
Currently, NPMS does not include gathering or distribution pipelines. Some states regulatory agencies also provide maps showing the general location of pipelines in their state. Call 811 or your local One-Call center to have gathering or distribution lines located and marked before digging.
Know What’s Below. Call 811 Before You dig.
Damage to pipelines from excavation activity is the most common cause of pipeline emergencies. Before you plant a tree, install a fence, build a swimming pool or dig in your yard for any reason, call 811 or your local One-Call center to have pipelines and other underground utility lines located and marked.
In most states, One-Call is a free service required by law. When you call 811, a local One-Call representative will coordinate with pipeline operators in your area to mark the location of their lines with yellow flags, stakes or temporary paint. Other types of underground lines including electric, water, sewage and telecommunication will be marked with other colors. View a chart that explains marker flag colors and the lines that they represent.
Most state laws require homeowners and excavators to call 811 or the local One Call Center prior to digging. Verify with your One-Call center the required time you must wait before digging and the distance you are required to maintain in relation to the marks.
You are responsible for providing access to the area where you will be digging. Make sure that gates are unlocked or that someone is available to provide access for lining locating personnel. Once lines are located, respect the marks and dig with care. Contact One Call if you have questions about the marks or appropriate digging procedures and equipment.
Pipelines that are owned and maintained by the resident or building owner rather than a pipeline operator are typically not located through the One-Call process. These “customer-owned” lines often include pipelines and piping that run from the meter or other connection points to a customer’s gas appliances or manufacturing equipment. Customer-owned lines are rarely maintained or located by the pipeline company. If you are planning to excavate near customer-owned lines, contact a local professional who is qualified to verify the location of these lines before digging.
Visit the Common Ground Alliance’s “Call 811” Web site to learn more about the national “Call Before You Dig” campaign.
If you are a home or business owner, refer to “Simple Steps to Protect Pipelines” for more information about how you can help protect the pipelines near you.
Aboveground Pipeline Facilities
In addition to underground pipelines, you may live or work near aboveground components of the pipeline system including compressor and pumping stations, metering stations and storage facilities. Pipeline markers are posted to identify aboveground facilities.
Metering stations and compressor and pumping stations are located along gathering and transmission lines. Metering stations measure flow of product in and out of the pipeline system, and compression and pumping stations push products through the pipeline. Storage facilities store natural gas or other products. If you have questions about an aboveground facility near where you live or work, contact the operator listed on the pipeline maker for more information.