In an Emergency

Pipeline leaks are extremely rare. However, accidents do occur. Pipeline leaks can be very dangerous, so protect yourself by being able to identify the signs of a leak.

If you notice any of the following signs, there may be a leak.

  • An unusual whistling, hissing or roaring sound can be heard nearby to a pipeline right of way or warning signs
  • A smell of petroleum or mercaptan, which smells like rotten eggs. Mercaptan is added to natural gas, which is otherwise odourless, to give it a sulphur-like odor to warn of a leak
  • Vegetation can appear discoloured or damaged
  • A build up of frost on the ground or pools of liquid along a right-of-way
  • Bubbles rising in free-standing water
  • Isolated vapour or mist clouds

What to do in the case of a leak

If you notice any of the signs there may be a pipeline leak, take immediate action!

  • Leave the area immediately — if possible, walk into the wind for at least 750 metres
  • Warn any others nearby to evacuate, particularly if there are children or others requiring assistance
  • Extinguish any fires, smoking materials and potential ignition or spark sources – including any unnecessary electronic equipment
  • Call 911!
  • Call the pipeline company — look for pipeline right of way and warning signs for emergency call numbers

Leaks are very rare but can be dangerous. If you think there may be a leak, take appropriate action! Better to contact the pipeline company and emergency responders than to leave things to chance.

Did you know?

From 2002 to 2015, the average annual volume released from CEPA member pipelines transporting liquid products was five litres for every million litres transported — 99.9995% of the product was transported safely.