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Pipelines: Where Are They?

warningVirtually every Texan lives near a pipeline. Our state is home to more than 225,000 miles of pipelines, but because they are typically located underground we can’t easily see them.

Pipelines crisscross our yards, neighborhoods, communities, state and country safely transporting energy products every day. They connect to gas appliances in our homes and are located around our homes and businesses in underground corridors, called pipeline right-of-ways.

Use the following tools to find pipelines near your home or business:

Pipeline Markers

Pipeline companies place signs, called pipeline markers, at regular intervals to mark the general, not exact, location of pipelines. Markers are located in pipeline rights-of-way, at road and railroad crossings and at all aboveground facilities.

Markers can vary in shape, size and color, but they all include the type of product transported, the pipeline operator’s name and an emergency contact number. It is a federal crime to damage, remove or destroy a pipeline marker. Read more about pipelines markers and see examples of different marker shapes by visiting the Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration’s web site.

Pipeline Maps

Look up the location of transmission pipelines near your home or business by visiting the National Pipeline Mapping System (NPMS), an online mapping program managed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. NPMS does not currently include distribution or gathering pipelines.

The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) also manages an online mapping program that includes both transmission and gathering pipelines in Texas. The RRC mapping program does not currently include distribution pipelines.

To locate distribution lines near your home, contact your gas company or dial 811 to have lines marked before digging.

811- Know What’s Below. Call Before You Dig.

811/One Call is a national free service created to help protect you from unintentionally damaging underground utility lines while digging. One Call works with pipeline companies to mark the location of underground lines before you dig. When you dial 811, pipeline operators are notified and will mark the location of pipelines with yellow marker flags. Other underground utility lines, including water and sewage, will be marked with different color flags. Click here to view a chart that explains marker flag colors and the lines that they represent.

Aboveground Pipeline Facilities

Above GroundIn addition to buried pipelines, you may also live near aboveground components of the pipeline system such as compressor and pumping stations, metering stations and storage facilities. Compressor and pumping stations, usually found at regular intervals along a pipeline, push products through a pipeline.

Metering stations are also found along transmission pipelines. They are used to measure flow of product in and out of the pipeline system. Storage facilities store natural gas or other products. Aboveground pipeline facilities are clearly marked with pipeline markers.

 

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