Our team working through the night in terrible weather conditions to repair the damaged pipe in Yeovil. 

A week after third party contractors damaged a gas pipe leading to homes in Yeovil being evacuated, Wales & West Utilities is urging contractors carrying out excavations to think before starting work and ‘dial before you dig’.

The reminder comes after Wales & West Utilities, the gas emergency and pipeline service which serves the south west of England and Wales, worked through the night in terrible weather conditions to repair a gas pipe damaged by contractors working on a new housing development off Western Avenue. The damage caused ten homes in the Abbey Manor Park area to be evacuated.

The damaged section of pipe was cut out and replaced. 

The company is urging companies to remember three simple steps.

  • D is for Dial. Digging can be dangerous and hitting a gas pipe may cause a gas leak, a fire or explosion. So phone Wales & West Utilities ten days before you want to start work on 029 2027 8912 or email dig@wwutilities.co.uk to find out where gas pipes are located.
  • I is for Investigate- it’s the only way to stay safe. Before work is started, you must get a copy of our up-to-date gas plans and General Conditions and keep them with you on site. We have an online mapping service to find mains pipes under land. Wales & West Utilities will carry out site visits where needed and, after our conditions have been met and methods of working have been agreed, you will be able to work over our gas pipelines.
  • G is for Go ahead– but with caution. Make sure you have our up-to-date gas plans on site and use cable and pipe-locating devices. Use safe digging practices and taking every precaution to avoid damaging gas pipes and people. Third party contractors will be billed for any costs if something goes wrong.

Andrew Fitzgerald, Wales & West Utilities Plant Protection Manager, explains:

Every day, underground gas pipes get damaged by people digging on the highway or on private land without knowing what’s below. We deal with, on average, one incident a day across our network. Damaging gas pipes can be catastrophic - it might cause serious injury to you and others around you, as well as leaving you liable for the costs of repair, fines and fees which can be huge.

“Our simple guidelines exist to help contractors who are digging. We want to make sure that people are kept as safe as possible. At the end of the day, a wrong move can have a massive impact on communities as well those involved in causing the damage. This happened last week in Yeovil and we want to make sure that it’s not repeated.”

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

Our team is also working on a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.