A “planned release” of gas is taking place this week in Atascadero.
An inspection takes place once every seven years following the installation of a pipeline.
The planned release in Atascadero is following that pattern.
“The Southern California Gas Company has a natural gas pipeline running from Atascadero to Morro Bay and we are going to be doing what's called an in-line inspection of this pipeline,” said SoCalGas Public Affairs Manager Tim Mahoney.
The pipeline stretching from Del Rio Road in Atascadero to the inland side of Highway One in Morro Bay is being inspected with a pipeline inspection gauge.
“The purpose is for this smart tool to inspect all the pipelines so, as the P.I.G. goes through the pipe, it will be inspecting the quality of the metal, the wells, the outside wrap,” said Mahoney.
The inspection process is expected to take three days, wrapping up operation on Thursday.
“In order to make this complete, you have to run the pipeline inspection gauge from low pressure to high pressure so that it moves about three to five miles per hour through the pipe,” said Mahoney.
To run the gauge from low to high pressure, gas will be released into the atmosphere as part of the planned release.
The gas may leave a smell in the surrounding area.
SoCalGas says the gas is not a danger to people or the atmosphere.
“The gas is lighter than air, so it's just going to rise up and will essentially just decompose in the atmosphere,” said Mahoney.
For those that smell gas, they are encouraged to contact the dispatcher at 911 or at SoCalGas.
SoCalGas wants to remind people to call 811 anytime they’re digging in the off chance a natural gas line sewer line or water line is hit.