BROCKTON--Some residents may have seen a fiery burst of flame on Oak Hill Way in Brockton this morning.
According to a prepared statement from Algonquin Gas Transmission issued April 4, the natural gas company is conducting an inspection and maintenance program that began Monday, April 23 and will last until Friday, April 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A video of a flare can be seen at the new website for Richard Zaccaro's cable show "An Outside View" by clicking here.
Algonquin, located at 20 Oak Hill Way, is engaged in an Integrity Management Program to internally inspect and maintain its pipelines as required by the US Department of Transportation safety and maintenance regulations.
The program is designed to improve the safety and reliability of natural gas transmission pipeline systems.
The program involves “pigging” of the pipeline.
Cylindrical devices called pigs are placed in the pipeline and moved along the pipeline by natural gas. The pigging process includes cleaning and calibration measurements of the pipeline.
This data is analyzed to validate the integrity of the pipeline.
Pigging works best within a specific range of gas flows or speed that the pig moves through the pipeline.
In order to properly inspect the pipeline it is necessary to divert natural gas through a designed flare system located adjacent to the meter station.
Algonquin personnel will be present during the entire operation.
What this means is:
1. A temporary stack, about 80 feet high, will be erected.
2. During the flare off, a large flame will be visible from the top of the stack.
3. The process will make a loud noise, described as louder than a jet engine.
Company officials said there is no cause for alarm and there will be no danger whatsoever to persons or property in the area.
Natural gas flaring is a routine and safe procedure, however it has not been used at this location. Algonquin was expected to schedule and pay for police and fire department details during this procedure.