PG&E begins pressure-testing gas transmission lines in Mountain View 

PG&E on Monday is beginning to pressure test more than a mile of a gas transmission pipeline in Mountain View, a utility spokesman said.

The section of pipeline that will be tested is 24 inches in diameter and runs between Shoreline Golf Links at 2940 N. Shoreline Blvd. and Crittendon Middle School at 1701 Rock St., PG&E spokesman Brian Swanson said.

The mile-and-a-half section will be out of commission for two to three weeks while crews conduct hydrostatic testing, which involves accessing the pipe, clearing out the natural gas and filling sections of it with water, Swanson said.

“No customers will lose gas service while we’re testing this portion of pipeline,” Swanson said.

He explained that gas service will be delivered to PG&E’s customers in the area through alternate pipelines.

Swanson said that sections of the pipe will be filled with water for about eight hours, and pressure gauges will identify any possible leaks.

“Any pipe section that doesn’t meet our standards we’re going to get out and replace,” Swanson said.

Monday’s operation is part of PG&E’s pledge to carry out “rigorous” testing on pipelines in densely populated areas with similar characteristics to Line 132, which ruptured and exploded in San Bruno on Sept. 9, 2010, killing eight people.

Line 132 was installed before the state began requiring pressure testing in 1962, and PG&E had incomplete records of its testing.

PG&E hopes to conduct pressure tests on more than 150 miles of gas transmission lines throughout its service area before the end of the year.

Conducting hydrostatic testing on 1 mile of pipeline costs the utility between $150,000 and $500,000, Swanson said.

PG&E crews in Antioch are preparing a section of pipeline for hydrostatic testing that is scheduled to begin May 16, spokeswoman Brittany Chord said.

PG&E will host an open house in San Bruno tonight to meet with the public regarding upcoming tests in the area.

The meeting will be held at 900 Cherry Ave. from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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