City Officials Provide Gas Leak Mitigation Measure Updates

Gas Leak in Coral Springs

By Bryan Boggiano

City officials discussed the gas leak that affected several businesses this month at the May 18  commission meeting.

They discussed mitigation measures taken and preventative actions that the city would take.

John Norris, director of public works, attended a meeting Wednesday with Broward County and TECO Peoples Gas and Acosta Tractors to discuss ways to prevent future outages.

Norris said the incident was due to a drilling mistake along Wiles Road.

Typically, the location of utility lines, such as gas, is marked with paint, but he said that these paint markings only tell the location of the utility,  not how deep they are underground.

To figure out the depth, contractors will do a soft dig with shovels, or potholes, to confirm where the line is.

According to Norris, considering the road’s overall condition, Acostas decided that potholing every 40 feet was sufficient.

But, Norris said that considering this was the third time that the contractor hit the line, they realized that potholing every 40 feet was insufficient.

After meeting with Acostas, Norris said that the company agreed to pothole every 20 feet in most cases to reduce the chances of hitting the gas line again.

TECO also agreed to help in the potholing process.

“We are hopeful that with these new measures between TECO and Acosta Tractors, we will not have any incidents in the future,” Norris said.

In response, Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons asked Norris and fire chief Mike McNally about communication shortcomings, including businesses struggling to reach TECO.

In response, City Manager Frank Babinec said that the city could discuss this with TECO, but he said that TECO previously told the city that the company’s customer service line is the best place to be reached.

Commissioner Joy Carter had concerns about the wait times, saying that there was a discrepancy between TECO’s service restoration time and the actual result.

McNally said that the nature of the repairs led to longer wait times than some estimates.

He also said that if a representative from a business is not on site when TECO visits, the company will wait longer for gas restoration and reopening.

McNally noted that TECO took the situation seriously, bringing in 16 teams to help restore service and repair the rupture.

Simmons asked if it was possible to have TECO representatives answer questions from the commission. Babinec replied, saying that Norris could make that request.

“I don’t want you all to be on the hook to answer for them,” Simmons said.

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City Officials Provide Gas Leak Mitigation Measure Updates

Bryan Boggiano
A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.

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Five Element in Coral Springs
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