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Recognizing and Responding to a Pipeline Leak
Call 911 and then your local one call center because even seemingly insignificant damage, such as a scrape or dent, could damage a pipeline’s protective coating and eventually lead to a leak or safety incident if it is not repaired.
What are some signs that a pipeline could be leaking?
- Liquid pooling on the ground near the pipeline.
- Persistent bubbling in standing water.
- A white cloud of fog over the leak site.
- Spots of discoloration among otherwise green vegetation around a pipeline.
- An unusual noise, such as hissing or roaring, coming from the pipeline.
- An unusual smell (each liquid petroleum product has a characteristic odor).
What should you do if you think a pipeline has been damaged or is leaking?
Your safety and the safety of others around you should be your first priority. Leave the area immediately, avoiding contact with any escaping liquid or vapor cloud. Do not light a match, start an engine (if any machinery is running, turn it off), use a phone, switch an electric light on or off or create a spark or source of heat that could cause the escaping liquid or vapor to ignite and burn.
Markers should not be relied upon to indicate the exact position of the pipelines since pipelines oftentimes do not follow a straight course between markers. Contact Shell if you wish to know where the pipeline is located.
After you have reached a safe location, call for emergency assistance by dialing 911. If you know that the pipeline is operated by Shell, contact us at 1-800-922-3459. This phone number is staffed around the clock, seven days a week. You will be asked to provide your name, phone number and a description of the leak and its location.