The PG&E gas-pipeline-testing project began with staging and excavation Thursday (Aug. 11) and will continue through late September, according to a schedule released by the City of Palo Alto Utilities department.
Gas line segments T-29 and T-30, which run through Palo Alto, will be vented of unused gas in order to conduct hydrostatic pressure-testing.
People in north Palo Alto can expect to smell gas on Thursday, Aug. 25, when venting for pipeline segment T-29 will begin. T-29 stretches from Alma Street to Middlefield Road, with dig sites located at 2573 Alma, 3672 Middlefield and 3860 Middlefield.
Residents of south Palo Alto may notice a smell on Wednesday, Sept. 14, when segment T-30 will be vented. T-30 starts at the intersection of Alma and Page Mill Road and continues up Page Mill to Foothill Expressway. Dig sites are located at 650 Page Mill, 925 Page Mill, the corner of Page Mill and Hanover Street and 500 feet north of the intersection of Page Mill and Foothill.
Hydrostatic testing subjects pipes to water pressure 150 percent greater than the pressure allowed under normal gas use.
Tests will "validate a safe operating pressure for the pipeline" and hopefully "reveal weaknesses that could lead to defects and leaks," PG&E officials said last month. Weakened pipes will be repaired or replaced.
The testing schedule is as follows:
■ Thursday, Aug. 25: Venting for pipeline segment T-29 begins (Alma Street to Middlefield Road); smell noticeable in Menlo Park and north Palo Alto
■ Saturday, Sept. 3: Hydrostatic testing of T-29 begins; air movers operate near Oregon Expressway and Alma Street, noise and slight smell noticeable
■ Wednesday, Sept. 14: Venting for pipeline segment T-30 begins (Alma and Page Mill Road, up Page Mill to Foothill Expressway), smell noticeable in Mountain View and south Palo Alto
■ Tuesday, Sept. 20: Hydrostatic testing of T-30 begins