Pipeline Awareness

Call Before You Dig! 

CALL 888-935-2281

The statistics are clear. Damage during excavation is the leading cause of pipeline damage and accidents. We need YOUR help to prevent pipeline accidents.

Before you dig in your yard, expand a garden or field, or excavate an area of land, learn where pipelines and other utilities are buried.

Just a few simple steps prevent emergencies:

  • Call 811 (www.call811.com) or Gopher State One Call (www.gopherstateonecall.org) at (800) 252-1166 before you dig.
  • Trained technicians will mark the location of utilities and pipelines at no cost to you.
  • Respect the line markers, leaving them in place while you work.
  • Dig with care.

Protect your property and your pocketbook. Damages caused by customers who did not call before digging are paid for by that customer. Calling first makes all the difference.

Industry Links

Smart digging means calling 811 before each job. 811 is the new federally mandated national "Call before you dig" number. One call to 811 gets your underground utility lines marked FREE of charge.

A non-profit organization, is the one-call notification system established to inform all Minnesota underground facility operators of intended excavation. We are here to serve you!

The American Gas Association represents local energy companies delivering natural gas to customers. AGA members are committed to delivering natural gas safely, reliably, cost-effectively and in an environmentally responsible way.

A geographic information system created by the U.S. Department of Transportation in coordination with other governmental agencies. You can find out who is operating pipelines in your area using this free public tool.

Are you a public official or involved in community planning or decision making? The Pipelines and Informed Planning Alliance (PIPA) has developed recommended practices to help in making decisions about what, where and how to build safely near transmission pipelines.

Midwest Energy Association (MEA) serves the people that deliver electricity and natural gas to homes and businesses. MEA furthers operational excellence in energy delivery by providing resources that continually improve members' proficiency, efficiency, and safety.

Minnesota Pipeline CAER serves to collectively provide pipeline safety information to Minnesota emergency officials, including local fire, law enforcement and others through the enhanced awareness of pipeline emergencies, availability of member resources and emergency response capabilities. In addition, CAER pipeline and distribution operators and members jointly support efforts to increase awareness of pipeline damage prevention to excavators and public officials.

Trouble paying your bill?
Avoid disconnection

The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) created the Cold Weather Rule (CWR) to protect residential customers from facing natural gas shut-off if they cannot pay their bill in full. The rule offers extra protection from October 15th through April 15th of each year.

To avoid disconnection, or reconnect your service you MUST either pay your gas bill in full OR call Community Coops immediately to create and follow a payment arrangement.

Call us toll-free at (888) 935-2281

Your financial circumstances, current balance owing and any anticipated billings for natural gas will be considered when determining your payment arrangement. If a mutually agreed upon payment arrangement cannot be reached, you have the right to appeal through the MPUC.

Community Coops will also provide a list of agencies that may be able to offer you additional assistance. Under the CWR, special payment terms are available to customer who:

  • Apply for and receive Low Income Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) funding assistance in Minnesota, or
  • Meet set income guidelines by the State of Minnesota but do not receive energy assistance, and
  • Provide verifiable proof of income

It is important to understand that if you are not able to keep your agreed upon payment arrangement, you must call CCLP to request a change. If you fail to sign and return your written payment arrangement document or make timely agreed upon payments your service could be disconnected.

You have the opportunity to have a third party notified if your natural gas service is scheduled to be disconnected. This program helps individuals who live alone, are disabled, are elderly, or cannot read English. A third party is able to make payment arrangements on your behalf, however is not required or obligated to pay your bills.

To learn more about Customer Rights and Responsibilities, get a list of Energy Assistance Agencies or request a Third Party Designation Form, please call Community Coops at (888) 935-2281

Natural Gas Safety

Safety Starts With You

Natural gas is completely safe when it's sealed inside pipes and used in the right way. The danger occurs when gas leaks out or doesn't combust properly in an appliance.

Natural gas is flammable - if there is a flame or even a spark in the area of a leak, it could cause an explosion. Fortunately, natural gas leaks are very rare. Explosions are even more uncommon - the mixture of natural gas and oxygen in the air must be at a precise proportion for a spark to set it off.

When it's pumped from deep under the earth, natural gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless. Utility companies add a chemical to give the gas a distinct aroma: rotten eggs. This makes even a tiny gas leak easier to detect.

Most natural gas safety rules are simple common sense. Still, it can be easy to overlook something, especially when you're busy or in a hurry. We have provided these simple tips to help you and your family eliminate potential safety hazards.

The Basics

DO install a gas/carbon monoxide detector near the living and sleeping areas of your home. While an odorant is also added to natural gas to assist with the detection of a gas leak, Community Coops of Lake Park encourages the use of a consumer gas detector that detects carbon monoxide, methane and propane.

DO make sure that any unused gas lines in your home that previously provided gas to an appliance or furnace are securely capped. Contact a qualified plumbing and heating contractor to assure that no gas will leak from the unused line. Once the line is securely capped, you can rest easier knowing that your home is safe!

DO leave at least 18 inches of clearance around your gas furnace and water heater, and at least six inches around gas stoves and clothes dryers. Always follow manufacturer clearance installation instructions.

DO keep paints, papers, aerosol sprays and other flammables away from gas appliances.

DO make sure the vent hood, pipes and flues on your gas appliances aren't blocked, cracked or corroded.

DO keep children and pets away from utility equipment, including meters.

DO keep your meter free of ice and snow during the winter.

DO follow the manufacturer recommended temperature settings on your water heater. Some people including children and elderly may be at an increased risk for burns due to higher than recommended water temperatures.

DON'T store or stack boxes, laundry or other materials around the base of a gas appliance.

DON'T let kids play on or around gas equipment, including meters and pipes.

DON'T wear long sleeves around a gas stove, and keep towels and potholders away from the open flame.

DON'T try to use a gas oven or range to heat a room.

DON'T disguise transformers or meters with paint or bushes - a utility worker might need to work safely around it or find it quickly in an emergency.

DON'T tamper with an electric or gas meter (it's dangerous and illegal).

Reporting Gas Odors and Emergencies

If you suspect a natural gas leak, react like it's an emergency. Although rare, natural gas leaks can be dangerous and result in an explosion. There is no charge for a leak investigation.

Signs of a Leak

  • Do you smell an unusual odor, like a rotten egg?
  • Do you hear blowing or hissing?
  • Do you see unexplained dead or dying vegetation?
  • Do you see bubbles coming from the ground - land or water?

Take Action

  • Do not try to find or repair the leak.
  • Leave the area immediately and keep others away.
  • Do not start vehicles, turn on lights, or use telephones.
  • Call Community Coops at (888) 935-2281 from a remote location.
  • If you can hear gas hissing or blowing, call 911.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Safety

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a silent killer. Since the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of the flu, victims often don't realize the cause of their illness. CO symptoms can occur immediately or more gradually after long-term exposure. Protect your family by learning the symptoms.

Symptoms do not include a fever, but do include:

  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Fainting

It's important to know that you can't see or smell CO. Only a CO detector can alert you to a problem. Health officials recommend having CO detectors on every level of your home and within ten feet of any sleeping areas. Just as you do with smoke detectors, check and replace batteries in CO detectors too.

CO comes from poorly functioning appliances, or appliances that are not vented or incorrectly vented. Appliances such as furnaces, space heaters, and even gas or charcoal grills all pose a threat. Outdoor equipment such as portable generators, heaters, and stoves, can create dangerous levels of CO in cabins and especially in hunting and fishing shacks.

Have your natural gas appliances inspected regularly. Make recommended repairs promptly and keep them in good working order.

If you suspect CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Be sure to call for help before helping others. That way you don't pass out before making that first call to alert emergency responders.

Consumer Gas Detectors

Community Coops of Lake Park encourages the use of consumer gas detectors that detects carbon monoxide, methane and propane. Natural gas is composed of mainly methane which is a highly flammable chemical with no odor. Natural gas companies like Community Coops of Lake Park add an odorant that smells like rotten eggs to help with the detection of gas leaks. Sometimes the rotten egg odor can go undetected. If you install a carbon monoxide detector please consider installing one that can also detect gas. Even if your gas detector is not going off and you suspect a gas leak, react like it is an emergency. Call your gas company right away. Community Coops of Lake Park will investigate any report of a gas leak free of charge.

Consumer gas detectors should be installed in or near bedrooms and on each level of your home. If your appliances run on natural gas it is recommended that you install your detector high on the wall to ensure the earliest detection of a leak. If you have questions about consumer gas detectors or you suspect a leak please call Community Coops of Lake Park toll free at (888) 935-2281

If Your Service Has Been Disconnected...

Community Coops of Lake Park is committed to making safety a priority for its customers, for its employees, and for the general public. Therefore, certain safety precautions must be taken prior to reconnecting natural gas service at a customer location. If service has been disconnected for 60 days or more, including disconnection for nonpayment, COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK requires that a licensed heating or mechanical contractor validate the integrity of the customer's gas piping facilities prior to reconnection.

Upon receipt of the contractor's confirmation, COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK will disconnect the customer's piping at the meter and install a meter outlet valve for the customer (unless a metered outlet valve is already installed on the customer's meter). COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK will then provide gas through the metered outlet valve, which shall be in a closed position. The contractor will need to return to connect the customer's piping, turn on the valve, and relight the customer's appliances.

COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK kindly reminds customers that unauthorized tampering with COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK's equipment (including attempting to restore service to a locked or disconnected meter); or, a condition determined to be hazardous to the customer, to other COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK customers, to the public, or to COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK's employees, equipment, or service may result in immediate service disconnection without notice. In that event, disconnection of gas service does not relieve the customer from the customer's obligation to COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK. Please do not hesitate to contact COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK's office should you have any questions about COMMUNITY COOPS OF LAKE PARK's reconnection policies.

Pipeline Awareness

Think Safety First

CALL 888-935-2281

Community Coops of Lake Park provides natural gas service to a wide variety of customers, from individual household accounts to large commercial customers. The company is fully regulated by the Minnesota Public Utility Commission and maintains a Damage Preventions Program in accordance with state and federal guidelines. The purpose of this program is to prevent damage to our pipeline and facilities from excavations activities, such as digging, trenching, blasting, boring, tunneling, backfilling, or by any other digging activity.

There are over 2.5 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. today. Community Coops of Lake Park operates distribution pipelines, consisting of main lines ("mains") and service lines.

Although pipelines are the safest means of transporting energy products, it is important to follow state Call Before You Dig guidelines.

Natural Gas is lighter than air and will generally rise and dissipate. It may gather in a confined space and travel to a source of ignition. Health Hazards of natural gas are as follows: Will be easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames and will form explosive mixtures with air. Vapors may cause dizziness or asphyxiation without warning and may be toxic if inhaled at high concentrations. Contact with gas or liquefied gas may cause burns, sever injury, and/or frostbite

What if a leak occurs:

To prepare for the event of a leak, we regularly communicate, plan, and train with local emergency responders. Upon notification of an incident or leak trained and qualified personnel are dispatched in response. Our technicians in partnership with emergency responders are trained to protect life, property and facilities by taking steps to minimize the amount of product that leaks out and to isolate the pipeline emergency.

We invest significant time and capital maintaining the quality and integrity of our pipeline systems. Field personnel continually monitor the pipeline system and are available for immediate response to any incident or leak.

Protect your property and your pocketbook. Damages caused by customers who did not call before digging are paid for by that customer. Calling first makes all the difference.

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