DENHAM SPRINGS – Livingston Parish residents will have the rare chance of seeing and hearing what happens when a buried gas pipeline is ruptured by careless digging.

The demonstration and educational meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12, at Abundant Life Church, 206 Edgewood Drive, Denham Springs.

The meeting – open and free to the public – is being conducted by Enertech, a Wichita Kan., company that specializes in public awareness and damage prevention programs for natural gas distribution, gas transmission, gas gathering and hazardous liquid pipeline companies. 

“We boost public awareness and public safety for natural gas distribution,” said Scott Finley, media manager for Enertech.

“We are presenting a free-to-the-public underground damage awareness scenario and safety event,” he said.

With continued growth in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas, and the large number of underground gas pipelines, it is important to be familiar with the free 811 safety system, Finley said.

“Striking any kind of underground line is not something anyone wants to take lightly,” said Cole Vanderlick, project coordinator with Enertech. 

 “Should it happen to be gas, for instance, you literally have only seconds to make decisions that could save your life,” he said.

“As partners in safety, pipeline companies value the unique skills and expertise of the emergency responders. Working through this scenario, we all gain hands-on experience and learn from each other in the process.”

The pipeline safety meeting brings together first-responders, utility, oil and gas, municipal and parish personnel in a hands-on scenario safety training.   

Taking part in the demonstration are Atmos Energy Corp., Shell Pipeline Co., Entergy Corp., Pipeline Technology, Ditch Witch and Louisiana One Call,

Louisiana One Call provides contractors, homeowners and others who may be excavating, digging, or trenching with a single toll-free number to call for locating and marking underground facilities.   

Just call 811 to be connected and begin the free service, or go to

Atmos Energy Corp., of Dallas, is the country's largest natural-gas-only distributor, serving 3 million natural gas distribution customers in 1,400 communities in eight states

Entergy Corp. delivers electricity to 2.9 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Pipeline Technology, of Baton Rouge, owns and operates specialty chemical and petrochemical pipelines in the Mississippi River corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. 

Shell Pipeline Co. owns and operates seven tank farms across the U.S., and transports more than 1.5 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products annually through 3,800 miles of pipeline miles across the Gulf of Mexico and five states.

Ditch Witch is the trade name of Charles Machine Works, an American brand of underground utility construction equipment in operation since 1949.


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