Three gas lines rupture across San Diego within a week

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SAN DIEGO -- Three gas lines ruptured across San Diego by contractors in less than a week.

Monday morning around 9:30 a natural gas line was hit during excavation work, according to SDG&E. 

“We are definitely having more of the incidents,” Joe Britton with SDG&E said.

Britton said at least two other gas lines in San Diego were ruptured by contractors on Wednesday.

He told FOX 5 since 2010, gas line breaks have more than doubled in the county with more than 400 last year and already over 200 this year.

“The prevailing thought is it’s really economic driven. With the economy we see a lot more work, landscaping, activities like that,” Britton said. 

“We’re building like crazy in San Diego and unfortunately there’s a labor shortage and so we have inexperienced operators and overworked operators and frankly you just got lots of conflict under the ground,” Vincent Hundley, with San Diego's Associated General Contractors, said.

Hundley said there are a number of reasons that can lead to a break including incorrect markings of where lines are located.  

“I’ve been on disputes where it’s down to an inch or two on the tape measurer and whether or not they’re accurate or inaccurate it’s still a contractors responsibility, the excavators responsibility to find it,” Hundley said. 

Britton said SDG&E is finding that about 60 percent of the time, damage is caused when a contractor fails to call 811, the "dig alert" system. Homeowners and contractors are expected to dial 811 before doing work that requires digging.

“Submit a request and we’ll come out and SDG&E will mark out your underground utility lines free off charge,” Britton said. 


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