For Immediate Release
BALTIMORE (Feb. 20, 2018) – BGE has repaired or replaced 80 percent of the gas main damaged when water from a water main break infiltrated the gas system last Thursday evening in Laurel, MD. Gas service is expected to be restored to the vast majority of affected customers by Tuesday evening, however, some isolated outages could extend into later in the week. Approximately 250 BGE technicians and more than 260 pieces of equipment have been working around-the-clock to restore gas service to approximately 400 customers in a multi-block radius. Thus far, approximately 2,000 gallons of water has been pumped out of the gas mains. The water main break Thursday night damaged a nearby gas main and forced large amounts of water and debris through the network of gas pipes serving the area.
Crews have been isolating repaired sections of the gas main network where gas can be safely restored. This allows service restorations to some customers to begin while repairs are still being made in other sections of the affected area. BGE is contacting customers to advise on progress and when their gas service can be restored and gas appliances inspected for relighting. Customers who should not expect service restoration today will also be advised so alternate plans can be made if necessary.
We thank our customers in this community for their patience and understanding as our crews continue to work tirelessly to repair the damage caused by the water main break and to restore gas service as safely and as quickly as possible.
BGE gas crews worked closely with the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) to locate the water main break and stop the flow of water. Crews then went to each property in the area to turn off gas meters at each customer's premises, a necessary step to isolate the affected area of the gas system so it can be drained, cleaned and repaired or replaced before gas is restored. Due to some of the damage, large sections of gas pipe packed with mud and debris are being removed and replaced in the process. BGE secured additional contractor resources to assist with the restoration process.
The safety of our customers, employees and contractors remains the top priority. As always, customers who smell natural gas or detect escaping gas are asked to get to a safe location and contact BGE immediately at 1.800.685.0123. Customers using alternative heating sources, such as electric space heaters, should follow all manufacturer instructions for safe operation.
Gas service cannot be restored if water has entered a customer's piping and appliances. In that scenario, customer-owned equipment such as piping and gas appliances located on the customer's side of the gas meter must be inspected and repaired by the customer's licensed plumber before BGE can fully restore service.
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BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable power delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland, as well as enhanced energy management, conservation, environmental stewardship and community assistance. J.D. Power's 2017 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM ranked BGE highest in customer satisfaction with business electric service in the east among large utilities. The company also has an estimated annual economic impact of $5 billion of output in its service area, supporting more than 9,500 local jobs and producing $923 million in labor income. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.