Safely Unclogging Outside Sewer Lines

Some natural gas utilities use horizontal or trenchless boring to install gas lines. Occasionally one of these gas lines is unknowingly installed accidently through a sewer pipe. When this occurs, we call it a cross bore.

A gas line cross bore poses no safety risk if it is undamaged. However, if a natural gas line is cut or nicked while unclogging a sewer line, it can create a serious hazard. Damaging a natural gas line can cause damage to property through fire or explosion and possibly lead to more serious damage or injuries to people nearby.

Safety Tips for Sewer Work

  • Use a video inspection camera to identify the type of obstruction before attempting to unblock it.
  • Use an exterior cleanout to lessen the chance of natural gas entering a structure.
  • Use caution when operating power tools to clear a sewer line blockage.
  • Know and watch out for signs of a natural gas leak such as rotten egg or skunk-like odor, hissing or roaring sound, bubbles in standing water.

Plumbers and Contractors – Watch this video and read the brochure to learn more about cross bores and best safety practices.

Homeowners – Watch this video to learn more about sewer clogs and natural gas safety