Gas project set to start in 2nd Ward

Columbia Gas of Ohio is to place new medium-pressure natural gas lines in the Second Ward starting next week, Project Management Leader Mike Schweiterman said in a public meeting Thursday.

Schweiterman said most towns had low-pressure piping installed about 70 years ago. Starting in 2008, Columbia Gas began replacing about 160 miles a year with medium-pressure plastic pipe. Schweiterman said the project should be completed across Ohio in 20 years.

A medium-pressure system would allow for downtown growth, he said. The current low-pressure system does not have the capacity to handle major growth.

The new system also provides for shut offs and tracer lines, which make the line easier to find after work is completed, Schweiterman said.

He said Columbia Gas workers must locate the sewer system to directionally bore. Directionally boring a pipe would allow for Columbia Gas to place the new line without digging trenches along streets and on private properties.

Clean up and digging would be minimal with directional boring. If it is not possible, trenches would be needed.

After locating sewer lines, they would be videotaped to find laterals and identify areas to avoid. At the end of the project, lines are to be videotaped again to make sure they are unharmed.

Schweiterman also said the entire path of the project would be videotaped, allowing for Columbia Gas to clean up properties and fix any damage.

He said water, electric and cable lines would be identified with the help of the Ohio Utility Protection Services and marked.

Residents are to be notified when work is to begin on their property. Schweiterman said residents should ask to see identification during the process.

Residents should notify employees if their property has additional underground utilities such as sprinklers or invisible fences.

The area would then be surveyed and construction is to begin. The main line is to be laid in the right of way. Schweiterman said work on the main would not be on private property.

After placing the line, it would be tested and service lines would be placed.

During conversion, Columbia Gas workers are to run a new service line up to the house and attach a new meter to the existing trunk line. They also will test the pipe and relight any appliances.

The meter must be on the outside of the home, visible from the street and away from windows or any source of electricity.

Residents and employees are to decide the location of new meters. Gas would be off for about two hours.

After connecting service lines to the main line, the low-pressure system would then be purged to remove all natural gas.

The old line would be cut off at the main line and the house and capped.

Work is to begin on Huss Street and move down North Sandusky Street. The project affects residents from Huss Street to Olive Street and Water Street to North Sandusky Street. Work is to continue down North Sandusky Street to Hall Street.

Schweiterman said the project is funded through a $5 fee included on bills across Ohio.

Columbia Gas is to start paying property tax on the system in 2015, Schweiterman said.

The project should take about two months.

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