KUB to Purge Air from South Loop Natural Gas Pipeline this Friday

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KUB to Purge Air from South Loop Natural Gas Pipeline this Friday

Posted: 08/26/2015
Beginning at 7 a.m. and lasting until 5 p.m. this Friday, August 28, KUB will perform a process called “purging” to remove air from the newly-installed South Loop pipeline and replace it with natural gas. This will be the final step to place this section of pipeline into active service. 

This section of the South Loop pipeline was recently constructed along a six-mile corridor between Cherokee Farms and the Topside Road Natural Gas Gate Station (3715 Topside Road, near the Alcoa Highway intersection). The new pipeline improves overall reliability for KUB’s natural gas distribution system, and provides a connecting pipeline that will allow the University of Tennessee to convert its coal-fired steam plant to natural gas.   

As part of the purging process, a “rotten egg” odor may be present in the immediate area near the Topside Road Natural Gas Gate Station as natural gas is safely released from the pipeline as part of this work. 

Natural gas is colorless and odorless; however, KUB adds the chemical mercaptan to its natural gas supply to make even small released amounts easily detectable. While the odor may be temporarily unpleasant, mercaptan poses no hazards, and any associated odors should dissipate quickly once the natural gas is released from the pipeline. 

There may also be temporary elevated noise levels in the immediate area as the mixture of air and natural gas are released at the Topside Road Station.     

KUB has coordinated with local fire and police agencies in preparation for this work, and KUB personnel will be onsite to monitor and respond in the event of any issues.   

No customer natural gas service interruptions will be required in association with this work. 

KUB is a municipal utility serving Knox and parts of seven adjacent counties and provides electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 445,000 customers. 

For more information about KUB please visit www.kub.org.