Thousands of Leaks Found in DC's Aging System of Natural Gas Pipes

"Researchers who conducted a street-by-street survey of the District [of Columbia] found nearly 6,000 natural gas leaks from the city’s aging pipe system, including 12 in manholes where methane had collected to potentially explosive levels, according to a study published Thursday."

"The team, after warning Washington Gas about those 12 locations, retested them four months later and discovered eight places where the gas buildup was still at concentrations that could cause explosions.

Some of the thousands of gas leaks found throughout the city were at levels many times those normally found in the environment. But they posed no direct health or safety risk at those concentrations and the gas plumes dispersed into the air, according to team leaders Robert B. Jackson of Duke and Stanford universities, and Nathan G. Phillips, who teaches at Boston University."

Lenny Bernstein reports for the Washington Post January 16, 2014.

Source: Wash Post, 01/16/2014