TECO Peoples Gas invests more than $130 million a year to keep our natural gas system safe and reliable for our customers throughout Florida. This includes $18 million annually on a 10-year program that began in 2013 to replace our 100 miles of cast iron, 354 miles of bare steel, and 524 miles of vintage plastic gas mains. At that time, the older pipe comprised about 8 percent of our 12,000 miles of distribution mains – all buried underground. Since January 2013, we have replaced 547 miles of this pipe.
Cast iron and bare steel pipes were widely installed throughout the country for distribution of natural gas until the 1970s. Early plastic pipe manufactured and used for gas distribution prior to 1984 may be more susceptible to brittleness. Current standards call for pipe made of newer brittle resistant polyethylene and corrosion resistant coated steel.
Peoples Gas has been proactively replacing older pipes for more than a decade. Most of the replacement work on our system is being done in the public rights-of-way and in front of residential properties. Construction methods have a low impact on the roads by using trenchless technology like directional drilling. Upon completion, disturbed areas are restored to pre-project condition or better. All work is done at no expense to homeowners or local government.
To see how upgrades are done to minimize impacts on our customers, watch this video about pipeline replacement in a typical neighborhood. To see where we are working, check out the maps in the menu to the right.