Construction Plans and Installation Tie-in and Abandonment Procedures to Support Gas System Enhancement Program (GSEP)
After a severe incident that another gas utility had experienced in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts, state regulators required all gas utilities to prepare construction plans and procedures under the direction of, and sealed by, a Professional Engineer. With that directive in mind, Liberty Utilities retained Weston & Sampson on a three-year project to prepare construction plans and installation tie-in and abandonment procedures to support their Gas System Enhancement Program (GSEP) in the cities of Somerset, North Attleboro, and Fall River.
During the first year, we developed plans and procedures to replace approximately 55,000-linear feet of existing low- and intermediate-pressure, cast iron and bare steel gas mains, ranging in size from two inches to 12 inches, with new polyethylene plastic gas mains. The majority of the existing low-pressure gas mains were replaced with intermediate-pressure gas mains. We developed construction plans using GIS information as the base mapping for existing water, sewer, and electric utilities along with existing gas system information from Liberty Utilities in the project areas. We also performed field reconnaissance as required to verify the GIS information or where existing utility GIS information did not exist. We then prepared comprehensive installation tie-in and abandonment procedures with the construction plans, all in accordance with state and federal codes and standards, Liberty Utilities’ own internal O&M plan, and industry best practices. Finally, one of our Massachusetts Registered Professional Engineers (PE) has and will continue to stamp all construction plans.
As Weston & Sampson proceeds forward through the next phases of work, our focus will be on assuring both Liberty Utilities and state gas regulatory agencies that the natural gas systems in Somerset, North Attleboro, and Fall River will be designed and constructed in a competent and safe manner.