Cross bores occur when natural gas lines or other utilities are installed through sanitary or storm sewer lines when using trenchless construction technology. A hazard can occur when mechanical equipment used to unclog sewer lines hits and penetrates a natural gas line.
In recent years, improper cross bores have led to incidents across the nation that have resulted in property damage, injury and even death. National Fuel takes extensive measures to ensure that our current trenchless construction practices are minimally invasive and safe.
If you suspect a cross bore blockage but are unable to visually verify one does not exist, follow these precautionary measures before you attempt to clear a sewer blockage beyond the outside wall of a building:
- Call 8-1-1 for underground utility locations to determine if the blockage is in the vicinity of utility lines.
- If you suspect that a sewer blockage was caused by a natural gas line, please call 1-800-444-3130.
- If you find a cable cross bored through the sewer, please call your local electric or telecommunications utility.
If you suspect a natural gas leak:
- Do not operate any equipment and eliminate sources of ignition.
- Leave and instruct others to leave the area.
- Call our emergency line from another location at 1-800-444-3130.
Learn more about cross bore safety.
These videos, developed by the Gas Technology Institute, also offer helpful information: