Smart Pigs Keeping Pipelines Safe

PIG. It is not just a farm animal, it also stands for pipeline inspection gauge, a robotic sensor that travels inside a natural gas pipeline to gather data about its integrity and to detect corrosion.

Prioritizing safety above everything else, our highly-trained employees are dedicated to the daily operation and risk management of the more than 14,000 miles of pipelines to bring natural gas to you, our customers. This means assessing pipelines using these electronic “smart pigs” to collect information about a pipeline’s health. This helps us ensure that infrastructure is safe, and we can do it without having to take the line out of service.

As an operator of high-pressure natural gas pipelines, we are required to identify threats, analyze the risks posed by these threats, and assess the physical condition of our pipelines. In addition, we must take actions to address potential integrity concerns before incidents occur where possible. Ensuring the safety of infrastructure around highly populated areas has applied upward pressure to expand inspections of facilities. 

To provide peace of mind, SDG&E performs frequent inspections, testing and patrols of pipelines. We also invest in the necessary manpower to improve safety and enhance reliability. This includes everything from upgrading or discontinuing service at the end of a pipeline’s useful life, to making repairs to avoid service interruptions.

Natural gas is an affordable source of energy for families and businesses, which is why the continued safe delivery of natural gas to you is important. Whether you’re turning on the heat on a chilly winter morning at home, or a chef is cooking his or her specialty for diners, we want to ensure you never worry about having a reliable, steady flow of natural gas to your appliances, or power generated by natural gas when you need it.

We are committed to having a natural gas system that keeps pace with the latest safety and technological advancements for our entire region.

To learn more about how our robotic tools assess pipeline health, check out this video.