Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thank You DPU for All That You Do!

Without the Department of Public Utilities...

Our streets would be dark and dangerous

Our drinking water would be dirty and unhealthy

Our houses would be cold, without natural gas heat or hot water

Our raw sewage would run through the streets and cause disease

Our river would be dirty and polluted!

Thank you DPU, for all that you do!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lightning Strikes Can Cause Gas Leaks Through Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing

If your home or business was built after 1990 or you had work done to your natural gas system, it's likely that corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) was installed.

If lightning strikes a structure containing CSST, there is a risk it can travel along the structure's natural gas piping system and cause a leak, or in some cases, even a fire.

CSST does not connect directly to appliances, but runs through a home or business, sometimes under floors, along sidewalls, or in the attic. It is a flexible, stainless steel pipe and often has a yellow, or sometimes black, casing.

CSST gas piping systems should be bonded to the electrical service grounding system at the point where the gas service enters the building. The bonding jumper should not be smaller than a 6 AWG copper wire or equivalent.

If you find CSST in your home or business, it is recommended that you contact a licensed electrician to make sure it is properly bonded and grounded. If you are unsure whether your building contains CSST, contact a building inspector for a professional inspection.

Happy Anniversary, Safe Drinking Water Act

Dec. 16 is the 40th anniversary of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), a federal law passed to ensure the quality of drinking water in America. Under the SDWA, the Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for drinking water quality and oversees those who implement those standards, including us, the Department of Public Utilities.The SDWA was passed on Dec. 16, 1974 to protect the public health by regulating the nation's drinking water supply. It has been amended in 1986 and 1996. It does NOT regulate private wells that serve fewer than 25 individuals, or to bottled water.

There are a number of threats to drinking water: improperly disposed of chemicals; animal wastes; pesticides; human wastes; wastes injected deep underground; and naturally-occurring substances can all contaminate drinking water. Likewise, drinking water that is not properly treated or disinfected, or which travels through an improperly maintained distribution system, may also pose a health risk.

Visit our Water Quality web page for more information about Richmond's water and everything the Department of Public Utilities does to make it safe for you.