APGA Congratulates PHCPUD for Operational Excellence!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: John Erickson, Vice President of Operations
Phone: (202) 464‐0834
Email: jerickson@apga.org

APGA Congratulates Paris Henry County Public Utility District for Operational Excellence!

Washington, DC- (August 1, 2017) – At its 2017 Annual Conference, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) presented Paris Henry County Public Utility District with the prestigious APGA System Operational Achievement Recognition (SOAR) for excellence in operating its natural gas utility. Public natural gas systems are entrusted by their customers to deliver clean and affordable natural gas through a safe and reliable distribution pipeline system. To accomplish this mission, a forward thinking natural gas utility constantly strives to improve its operating capabilities, overcome challenges and adapt to its changing environment.

Out of over 700 APGA members, Paris Henry County Public Utility District was selected for SOAR level Gold by its peers on the APGA Operations and Safety Committee. The selection was based on demonstrated excellence in the four areas of system integrity, system improvement, employee safety, and workforce development.

System integrity refers to the natural gas distribution system performing its overall intended function safely, efficiently and effectively—distributing energy to all customers without being degraded or impaired by its internal or external environment. System improvement refers to keeping the natural gas system well maintained and up-to-date through a self-improvement program that includes both an eye on the future through research and development, technology integration and a commitment to system improvement programs. Systems that exhibit excellence in employee safety include adopting a safety program that includes policies and procedures for education involvement and accountability for all employees, as well as tracking safety performance. Lastly, workforce development focuses on creative recruitment, training, education and development practices that provide a return on investment through increased employee loyalty, motivation, safety and productivity.

APGA President and CEO Bert Kalisch remarked, “Paris Henry County Public Utility District was highly rated in all four areas that are required of SOAR. Paris Henry County Public Utility District consistently demonstrates a commitment to providing natural gas safely and efficiently to all those in their community and as such, serves as a model for all other natural gas utilities in the country. APGA is proud to recognize Paris Henry County Public Utility District and is confident in their continued success.”

Paris Henry County Public Utility District was one of thirteen SOAR recipients recognized at the APGA Annual Conference in San Francisco on July 24, joining the 13 previous SOAR recipients. The system also received a plaque signifying Paris Henry County Public Utility Districts’ commitment to and achievement in excellence in operating a natural gas utility system.

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APGA is the national association of municipally and publiclyowned local distribution systems. There are about 1,000 public gas systems serving more than 5 million customers. These public gas utilities are notforprofit retail distribution entities that are owned by, and accountable to, the citizens they serve. They include municipal gas distribution systems, public utility districts, county districts, and other public agencies that have natural gas distribution facilities.

Fraudulent Bill Pay Website: DOXO

Please do not use DOXO to pay your bills online.  They are a fraudulent company pretending to represent Paris Henry County Public Utility District.  If you use them to pay your bill, they will charge you an unnecessary surcharge and they will have your private and personal information! The official online bill pay portal is FREE as always and the link is located on top of this website.  You can also get to it here.

Natural Gas Leak Survey in Process the Next Couple of Weeks

The Paris Henry County Public Utility District, your Natural Gas Distributor, will be in the Lake area (including Elkhorn Road) for the next few weeks conducting safety / leak surveys.  We will be utilizing as ATV / John Deere Gator and a company truck with our logo on the side.

This is part of our annual safety / leak survey to ensure public safety and our system’s integrity.  If anyone has concerns, or questions, please feel free to contact our office at (731) 642-5635, Monday-Friday, 7:30 am – 4:30 pm,

Thank you,
Paris Henry County Public Utility District.

Paris Henry County Public Utility District Celebrates Gas Utility Workers’ Day on March 18

Paris Henry County Public Utility District will observe the national Gas Utility Workers’ Day on March 18, 2017. This is the second year in which Gas Utility Workers’ Day has been officially celebrated across the country. This day of recognition is a time when communities such as ours give recognition to the employees who provide one of their most valuable assets—their natural gas utility.

The official Gas Utility Workers’ Day is March 18 because that is the date of the New London, Texas school explosion in 1937 that led to the widespread odorization of natural gas and an increased emphasis on safety. Safety is a vital aspect to natural gas distribution and the employees of distribution companies endeavor to make natural gas delivery as safe as possible.

This annual nationwide event is intended to build public awareness about the hard work done by the employees of natural gas utilities. On this day, we will also educate residents on the environmental, safety and cost benefits of using clean, reliable and affordable natural gas. Our customers recognize the need to access reliable, affordable, safe energy and depend on the service of natural gas utility employees for that need.

Paris Henry County Public Utility District looks forward to continuing to bring safe, reliable natural gas into your homes and businesses.  We also hope you join us in supporting natural gas as a premier energy source for our country.  As the cleanest burning fossil fuel, natural gas can help us achieve energy security and build a more competitive economy.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of natural gas and how your natural gas system works, please contact us at 642-5635

Excess Flow Valves (EFV)

What are Excess Flow Valves?  According to the U.S Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

Excess Flow Valves (EFVs) are safety devices installed on natural gas distribution pipelines to reduce the risk of accidents.  They are designed to shut off the flow of gas in the event of an accident such excavation damage or an earthquake.  They are not designed to shut off the flow of gas for small leaks or if the leak occurs beyond the gas meter (such as on house piping or appliances).

EFVs are required for new or replaced gas service lines servicing single-family residences (SFR), as that phrase is defined in 49 CFR 192.383(a). Following the investigation of a natural gas explosion in Loudon County, Virginia, in 1998, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended (Recommendation P-01-002) that PHMSA require that excess flow valves be installed in all new and renewed gas service lines, regardless of a customer’s classification, when the operating conditions are compatible with readily available valves.

Home Page Photo

In a Final Rule published in the Federal Register on October 14, 2016, PHMSA made changes to 49 CFR Part 192 to expand the requirement for EFVs, to include new or replaced branched service lines servicing SFRs, multifamily residences, and small commercial entities consuming gas volumes not exceeding 1,000 standard cubic feet per hour (SCFH). PHMSA also amended Part 192 to require the use of either manual service line shut-off valves (e.g., curb valves) or EFVs, if appropriate, for new or replaced service lines with meter capacities exceeding 1,000 SCFH. This final rule also requires operators to notify customers of their right to request installation of EFVs on service lines that are not being newly installed or replaced. This final rule, entitled “Expanding the Use of Excess Flow Valves in Gas Distribution Systems to Applications Other Than Single-Family Residences”, is effective April 14, 2017.

Any existing customers who currently do not have an EFV may contact the main office at 642-5635 in order to schedule an estimate.  The home owner is responsible for the cost of installing an EFV into an existing residence.

What to do if you smell gas

What to Do If You Smell a Natural Gas Odor

Natural gas is lighter than air, and it has a very high ignition temperature. For your protection, The Natural Gas Company adds a distinctive odor to natural gas, so leaks are easily detected.

If you smell a natural gas odor —

  • DON’T panic.
  • DON’T light a match, candle or cigarette.
  • DON’T turn electrical appliances or lights on or off.
  • From a safe location, call The Gas Company (731-642-5635) 24 hours a day, seven days a week; or call 9-1-1.

How to shut off your gas

How to Shut Off Your Gas

Turn off your gas meter ONLY if you smell gas or hear the hissing sound of gas escaping.

It is important to know exactly where your gas meter is located (See Diagram A ), and how to shut it off in case of emergencies (See Diagram B).

 

Diagram A

As you face the meter, you will see a pipe running from the ground to the meter. There is a shut-off valve running parallel with the pipe usually located about 6 to 8 inches above the ground.

Take a 12″ adjustable wrench (or larger) and turn the valve 1/4 turn in either direction, until the valve is crosswise to the pipe. (See Diagram B)

Keep a 12″ adjustable wrench (or larger) with your emergency supplies, or next to your valve.

 

Diagram B

For safety, a shut-off valve should be installed at every gas appliance. If a leak occurs at a specific appliance, the valve will permit you to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service at the meter. Some valves require a wrench to turn them. See Diagram C.

Diagram C

After shutting off your gas, if you aren’t certain how to safely restore gas service to your home, or how to inspect your appliances, call The Natural Gas Company or a qualified service provider such as a licensed plumber.

Do not use the gas meter for electric bonding

Do Not Use the Gas Meter for Electric Bonding

Electric bonding to or use of Paris Henry County Public Utility Districts (Natural Gas Company’s) gas service piping, gas risers or meter facilities for electric grounding is not permitted.  Use caution when touching gas meters. Faulty household appliances or faulty household electrical wiring could inadvertently introduce electricity to gas facilities.

General Emergency Preparedness

General Emergency Preparedness

Many natural disasters and other emergencies can strike without warning. In addition, after a major incident, there’s a good chance that public safety services will be busy handling emergencies. Your best defense is to be prepared at all times.

Steps To Take Before an Emergency

  • Be prepared. Know where your gas meter is located and keep a 12″ adjustable wrench (or larger) with your emergency supplies, or next to your gas valve. Even in the case of an earthquake or other emergencies, turn off your gas meter ONLY if you smell gas or hear gas leaking.
  • To help prevent your water heater from moving or toppling in an earthquake, strap it firmly to the wall studs in two places — the upper and lower one-third of the tank — with heavy bolts and metal tape. Be sure to place the lower strap at least 4 inches above the thermostat controls. Kits are often available at your local hardware store.
  • Replace any semi-rigid aluminum or copper gas tubing with approved flexible metal appliance connector.
  • Check safety devices, such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, to ensure that they are functioning properly
  • Check your furnace and other gas appliances for safe operation. Have a qualified heating contractor make any needed repairs

Developing an Emergency Plan

Most of us have at one time or another thought about what we would do in the event of an emergency. Unfortunately, too many of us never go beyond just thinking about it. Even worse, some people believe having stored food supplies and a few thoughts about what they would do in an emergency is being prepared. The truth is without formalizing your thoughts on how you want to approach various emergencies you are not prepared. In other words, being prepared means not only having supplies but having a written plan that includes training and practice. Developing a written plan not only organizes your thoughts it also provides a systematic and repeatable approach to emergencies. It’s also an excellent tool for training and practicing.
Your plan should be tailored to meet your specific situation and the special actions required to meet specific types of emergencies. For example, what action should be taken in the event of a fire versus an earthquake or flood. Here are a few examples of emergencies for you to consider:

  • House or wild fire
  • Flooding
  • Earthquake
  • Intruder
  • School or work emergency
  • Large chemical spills near your neighborhood

Create an emergency plan for your family, identifying two places for the family to meet — 1) a place outside your home and 2) a spot away from your neighborhood in case you can’t return home.

  • Practice the plan with your family, including your children
  • Make sure your children are aware of the routes away from home
  • Develop a plan for family pets and livestock. Evacuation shelters may not allow animals
  • Plan safe routes away from your home and business to high, safe ground
  • Designate a friend outside the area who family members can call if separated
  • Review the emergency plans at your workplace, your children’s school or daycare center and other places where members of your family regularly spend time away from home
  • Review and update your plan, as needed, at least annually.
  • Keep current important documents in a safe-deposit box
  • Know if your home is in an area at risk of flooding or landslide
  • Check the condition of your roof
  • Clean debris from drains around your home or yard

 

Emergency supplies checklist

Now is the time to stock up on at least 72 hours worth of emergency supplies that add to your safety and comfort during and after an earthquake.

Below are some essential items to include in your emergency preparedness kit:
• Bottled water – three day supply of bottled water (one gallon per person, per day)
• First-aid kit, handbook, and essential medications
• Packaged, dried or canned food and any special diet items
• Special provisions for babies, elderly, disabled family members, and pet
• Non-electric can opener
• Blankets or sleeping bags
• A portable radio, flashlight, batteries and light sticks
• Extra eyeglasses and sets of house and car keys
• Fire extinguisher –A-B-C type
• Rubber boots, rain pancho,
• Plastic trash bags
• Sturdy pair of shoes, warm clothing and personal hygiene items
• Cash

Steps For After an Emergency

  • DO NOT turn off your meter unless you smell gas or hear gas leaking.
    • Contact a licensed contractor or The Natural Gas Company to relight any gas appliances or pilot lights that are out. Do not turn gas back on by yourself.
    • It is recommended that a shut-off valve be installed at every gas appliance. If a leak occurs at a specific appliance, the valve will permit you to turn off the gas at the appliance rather than shutting off all gas service at the meter. Some valves require a wrench to turn them.
    • Check your water heater and furnace vents. If the venting system becomes separated during an earthquake, it could leak hazardous fumes to your home. Signs of an improperly vented appliance may include moisture on the inside of windows or an unusual odor when the appliance is in operation.
    • DO NOT use any electrical appliances until you’re sure there are no gas leaks.
  • Keep informed of the situation through local radio and TV
  • If evacuation is necessary, prepare an evacuation kit, including personal hygiene items, change of clothes, bedding and medication, if possible. Food, shelter and first aid are available at shelters
  • If it is safe to do so, check on your neighbors, especially elderly and disabled persons
  • Use the telephone only for family emergency needs or to report unsafe or dangerous conditions
  • Do not use 911 unless you have a life-threatening emergency
  • Avoid unnecessary trips. If you must travel during an emergency, dress in warm, loose layers of clothing and sturdy shoes. Advise others of your destination
  • Use flashlights — NOT lanterns, matches or candles — to examine buildings. Flammable gases may be inside
  • Follow instructions of local authorities regarding the safety of drinking water. If in doubt, boil or purify water before drinking or call public health officials
  • Avoid “sightseeing” in disaster areas. You may hamper rescue efforts or place yourself in danger

Preparing for an earthquake

Preparing for An Earthquake

Do a Home “Hazard Hunt.”
Walk through your rooms and look for things that could fall when shaken. Identify good places to “duck ,cover and hold” (see below). Even though you may not be able to secure every item you believe could fall, at least you will have identified the safe and unsafe areas of your home. Their fresh eyes can often find things you miss.

Practice your “Duck, Cover and Hold.”
Duck or drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold onto it. If you have children, teach them how to “duck, cover and hold”, and be sure to practice it with them often.

During an Earthquake

Duck or drop to the floor, take cover under a sturdy desk or table, and hold onto it so that it doesn’t move away from you. Wait there until the shaking stops.