Are gas leaks on the rise in Huntsville? Taking Action to clear the air

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Thursday Huntsville drivers were warned to avoid the area of Drake Avenue between Triana Boulevard & Cobb Road. Why, you ask? So Huntsville utility crews could inspect and repair a natural gas service line. Pretty scary stuff -- and it seems like we see and hear about it on nearly a bi-weekly basis. So what gives? Are we seeing more and more issue with gas lines in the area?WHNT News 19 decided to take action to put your mind at ease and explain why, when it comes to gas leaks, Huntsville Utility takes a proactive, not reactive approach.

It seems like every time you turn around, crews are unearthing, inspecting and repairing the subterranean systems you and I rarely think about. When we do, it can be pretty frightening.

"We do have infrastructure that at times does need to be upgraded," admits Huntsville Utilities Public and Governmental Affairs Liaison Harry Hobbs.

Forget emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; fire and explosion hazards are real. So, are we dealing with symptoms of aging pipes or other external factors? We learned, Huntsville Utilities doesn't just sit around until an issue presents itself.

"We conduct gas leak surveys every day. We have teams of folks that go throughout our servicing community to check for gas leaks with our gas leak detection equipment," explains Hobbs.

Every 6 months, the utility company conducts even more thorough 'critical leak surveys' in densely populated areas. The company even routinely surpasses federal survey standards. So when you see crews digging around, just know, they're making sure gas lines stay on the up and up.

"We are pretty vigilant about that and we're going to stay vigilant and we're going to inform our community if there is an issue."

You can follow Huntsville Utilities' social media accounts for the most up to date information on road closures, gas leaks, power outages and more. Like their page for Facebook updates and follow HU on Twitter.

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