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PG&E set to begin gas line tests in Mountain View

Testing follows fatal pipeline explosion in San Bruno last year

PG&E is mobilizing this week to begin pressure testing major gas pipelines in Mountain View -- one of the first two Bay Area cities to see a new round of gas pipe testing following the catastrophic explosion of a pipeline in San Bruno last year.

"Mountain View and Antioch are the first cities to be tested," said Mayor Jac Siegel. "I'm thrilled about that."

PG&E has scheduled two open houses next week for residents at Crittenden Middle School: on Monday, April 25, and Tuesday, April 26. Both meetings run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The actual testing work begins in May. PG&E spokesperson Joe Molica said PG&E would begin by testing 1.5 miles of line 132a, which is a "feeder line" that runs from Shoreline Golf Links to Crittenden Middle School.

The line runs under Shoreline Golf links, a Google campus, and from there follows Rengstorff Boulevard, Plymouth Street and Sierra Vista Avenue before jogging southeast under a patch of homes to join a major gas line at the southern edge of Crittenden Middle School. That major gas line is line 132, the line that runs up and down the Peninsula and exploded in San Bruno.

Molica said PG&E would also be testing 44 miles of line 132 in the future.

Lines will undergo "hydrostatic" testing by pressurizing them with water for eight hours and checking for leaks. Molica called it the "gold standard" for testing gas lines.

It's possible that some residents may see something similar to a water main break if one fails, but workers will be closely monitoring pressures in order to prevent such an occurrence from getting out of control, Molica said. PG&E would pay for any damage caused by the testing, he said.

Those with concerns about the smell of gas can call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

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