NW Natural. Your Partner In Safety

General pipeline safety information everyone should know.

As your local natural gas provider, we want you to know all that we are doing to ensure the safety of our pipeline system. Here are some facts you should know about our safety efforts.

We have one of the nation's most proactive pipeline safety programs

NW Natural is one of the first gas utilities in the U.S. to replace our cast iron and bare steel pipes with polyethylene pipes and cathodically protected and coated steel pipes. These pipe materials are highly resistant to corrosion and have an expected life of up to 100 years.

We constantly monitor the safety of our system

Our gas control room is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to monitor pressures and flows on our transmission system to identify changes that could indicate a potential problem.

We conduct frequent patrols, surveys and inspections of our transmission pipelines (bigger, higher pressure pipes that make up about 5 percent of NW Natural's system).

We meet or exceed every federal and state pipeline safety regulation. And with the support of state regulators, NW Natural has one of the most proactive pipeline management and replacement programs in the United States.

We check these pipelines by conducting surveys using very sensitive electronic leakage detection instruments at least once every year. Our transmission pipeline safety efforts are managed under a federal pipeline Integrity Management Program.

Every year, field technicians survey our transmission and distribution pipelines (smaller, lower pressure lines) in business districts and places of public occupancy. In addition, we conduct other surveys over our entire distribution pipeline system at least once every five years.

In addition to all our monitoring and inspection activities, our employees complete approximately 500,000 routine field visits each year, during which they are trained to observe and report any pipeline safety issues.

We also check our steel distribution pipes each year to make sure anti-corrosion protection is functioning properly, and we regularly test to make sure the "odorant" (rotten egg/sulfur smell) is at an appropriate level to alert customers to possible gas leaks.

"Third-party dig-ins," the major cause of pipeline incidents, are on the decline

The number one cause of pipeline incidents across the nation is someone digging into the pipe. But concentrated efforts by NW Natural, state and federal regulators and other public agencies, coupled with the new 8-1-1 Call Before You Dig number, have helped reduce damages from excavation by 60 percent since 2006.

Help us keep our system safe

We do everything we can to ensure safety - and we ask you to follow these simple natural gas safety guidelines:

Call before you dig.  It's the safe, smart thing to do - and it's the law.

Smell. Go. Let us know.  If you smell natural gas, leave the area immediately. Then call us at 800-882-3377 from a different location.


It's important to us that you feel comfortable with every aspect of your natural gas service. Please call us at 800-422-4012 with any questions, and visit nwnatural.com frequently.

Learn more about natural gas safety for your home and business.

Learn more about our Pipeline Integrity Management Program.