September 14 2018

Monitoring of Burlington's Gas System

By: Rich Hosford

In the wake of a series of upwards of 40 fire caused by gas explosion in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover that sent at least 18 people to the hospital and killed one man, many people are eyeing their own gas connections to their homes.


The official cause of the event has not yet been determined but many experts are saying the most likely culprit is too much pressure in residential systems.


We reached out to Burlington Department of Public Works Director John Sanchez who told BNEWS that in Burlington the town and its gas supplier Eversource do an annual survey of the gas system in town. He said they categorize all discovered leaks as high, mid and low priority and the high priority leaks are repaired immediately and the mid priority ones are put on a schedule for repair. Low priority leaks, he said, can linger for a while due to funding. The responsibility to fix the leaks lies with Eversource and not the town.


Eversource said in a statement it works closely with industry and government agencies to ensure service and safety of its 2.2 million miles of pipelines and mains.


The company said, quote: “We work with emergency responders, state and local agencies to prevent and prepare for emergencies through training and periodic drills. These exercises test procedures, logistics, communications and more. Emergency plans and procedures are periodically updated and made available to state authorities.”


Eversource added that if you smell gas you should move to a safe location and call them at (800) 592-2000 to report the issue. Do not use electrical appliances including telephones, cell phones, appliances or flashlights while in the area of the gas smell.

One more note, the Burlington Police Department shared on social media that officials in Lawrence are reporting a scam in relation to the gas explosions. Scammers posing as representatives of a Firefighters Association are attempting use the tragedy to fraudulently solicit donations. If you receive such a call just hang up.


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