Safety and Reliability One Pipe at a Time

Safety and Reliability One Pipe at a Time

April 19, 2023

In the past few years, you’ve probably encountered many mentions of the benefits of replacing and refreshing aging pipeline systems. Our own Washington Gas articles here in the Washington Informer often discuss pipeline systems and our committed goals for safety and risk mitigation throughout our service areas.

We are vigorously pursuing a thoughtful, risk-based approach to pipeline replacements throughout the DMV. Through significant capital investments, we are enhancing the reliability of our infrastructure, which includes the modernization of our facilities and pipeline networks through repair and replacement. 

Within our Utilities business, we invest in pipe replacement and related activities to improve the distribution network, mitigate potential risks and enhance safety. The goal is to upgrade our pipeline systems and place them on a long-term, sustainable path that will reliably serve our customers for years to come. 

Washington Gas actively operates several large-scale accelerated pipe replacement programs throughout our business footprint. These long-term program initiatives have logged noteworthy results in recent years. 

Beyond the enhanced safety and improving reliability of our pipeline network, as the data tables below illustrate, there is an ancillary benefit in that this work has the effect of lowering our emissions from aging infrastructure. In total from these efforts in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. as of the end of 2022, 352,270 metric tons of greenhouse gas equivalents have been reduced from our accelerated pipe replacement programs.*

District of Columbia  |  PROJECTpipes 

GHGs equivalent reduction: 23,822 metric tons
Automobiles equivalent reduction: 5,098
Miles of pipe retired: 31.3

Maryland  |  Strategic Infrastructure  Development and Enhancement Plan, or STRIDE

GHGs equivalent reduction: 105,199 metric tons
Automobiles equivalent reduction: 22,513
Miles of pipe retired: 140.9

Virginia  |  Steps to Advance Virginia’s Energy Program, or SAVE

GHGs equivalent reduction: 223,249 metric tons
Automobiles equivalent reduction: 47,775
Miles of pipe retired: 174.2

Numerous studies across government agencies and private research firms underscore the practicality and high value of accelerated replacement pipe programs. For example, the Department of Transportation indicates that such a program “enhances safety and reliability, contributes to cost savings over the longer-term and is less disruptive to customers and communities than a reactive approach.” The American Chemical Society also states that “cities with successful pipeline replacement programs have 90% fewer leaks per mile than cities without such programs.”*

Washington Gas is committed to our continuing strategy of deploying accelerated pipeline replacement programs to replace risk-prone pipelines with newer pipes that enhances safety and improve reliability. As we celebrate our 175th anniversary in 2023, we are proud to pursue projects and programs that will enhance service to our many communities today while supporting the energy solutions of the future.

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