Metropolitan Utilities District safely operates and maintains more than 2,700 miles of natural gas mains and approximately 2,866 miles of water mains in the metro area. Natural gas pipeline safety is mandated by the office of Pipeline Safety, a division of the Department of Transportation. Making sure every utility adheres to these standards is important for the protection of the people, assets and the environment from corrosion.
The District has a Corrosion Engineer and a Corrosion Technician who monitor the steel gas and water mains and steel gas services in our city. They check for corrosion on pipe and basins, and inspect paint coatings for any visible signs of deterioration. Besides visible inspection of above ground facilities, the Corrosion Technician is primarily responsible for instrument inspections of buried steel to confirm that the Cathodic Protection (CP) is adequate to control corrosion.
Every year they take readings at approximately 4,000 points of CP. There are an additional 7,500 test locations; 10-percent of these are checked each year. As test points are located, GPS coordinates and readings are entered into the Geographic Information System, which allows anyone in the field to easily locate buried steel pipe.
Currently there are more than 35,000 corrosion technicians certified by the NACE International Institute. To become licensed you must pass a technical exam and complete two years of corrosion work. Renewal of your license is required every three years. A two-year degree in Engineering or Science is encouraged for this position.
Maintaining infrastructure is a high priority for our community. We rely on our corrosion employees to monitor the condition of all our steel gas and water services, mains and basins.