Sewer Safety Inspections

Making sure sewer and gas lines don’t cross.

If your sewer or toilet backs up, you may not want to think about what could be hidden down the line. It pays to find out. Before you or your plumber use any sewer clearing equipment, make sure your natural gas line isn’t passing through the pipes.

Know what’s in your sewer line

In rare cases, the natural gas pipeline that serves a home or business may cross through a sewer pipe. This situation isn’t concerning unless you or your plumber attempts to clear the sewer line without first scoping it with a video camera.

When sewer and gas lines are crossed, sewer-clearing equipment can damage the gas line and release natural gas into your sewer system and your home or business. This is a hazard we can help prevent.

How can a natural gas pipeline affect a sewer line?

NW Natural installs most gas lines using a trenchless method that drills horizontally through the ground. Many utilities use this method because it minimizes damage to pavement and landscaping. However, in some cases, if a sewer line wasn’t mapped or installed with tracing technology and couldn’t be located on the property, it’s possible that drilling equipment crossed through it.

Crossed lines are rare, but now we are able to prevent them. When trenchless construction is complete, we scope the line with a video camera to ensure it doesn’t cross the sewer line.

Call Before You Clear

If a crossed line is suspected, call NW Natural at 800-882-3377. We will respond quickly, and if the gas line crosses through the sewer line, we will reroute the gas line at no cost to the customer.

Community sewer safety

As part of our proactive pipeline safety system, NW Natural is inspecting sewer lines throughout our territory. Working street by street, we are inspecting sewer lines. When we find a problem, our contractors repair the sewer line and reroute the gas line at no cost to the home or business owner.

If your community is among those we’ll be visiting, we will:

  • Mail you a letter
  • Leave you a door hanger notice so you know what to expect before work begins
  • Let you know if we need to schedule access to your property

Plumbers can also earn continuing education credits through a training course NW Natural helped develop and sponsor.

Have questions about our Sewer Safety Inspections?

If you have questions about the training course, our inspections or anything else regarding sewer safety, please call our project manager, Ryan Van Gordon, at 503-226-4211, ext. 4333.