WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published October 29, 2009, 05:25 PM

Xcel Energy Replacing Gas Pipes

Faulty gas pipes are being replaced around Grand Forks, but some homeowners are worried about how long it is taking to get the project done and now that winter is coming they are concerned that it won't be done in time

By: Jessica Dugan, WDAZ

Xcel energy is replacing the pipes in several neighborhoods after a brand of pipe was found to have deficiencies. That same brand of pipe was responsible for a Fargo home explosion last year....and the company is now replacing miles of mains and service lines with those faulty pipes which were the subject of government warnings prior to the explosion.

Joanne Carlson: "its a little unnerving to know that you've got that with the freezing and the thawing could possibly explode this winter. I'm not real happy about that."

Joanne Carlson says she was told by Xcel that her service line would probably need to be replaced, but that was months ago and she hasn't heard anything since.

Joanne Carlson: "I think they should possibly follow up on it, to notify you when you can expect to have it worked on or fixed, and I would say that it's a pretty urgent thing to get it done."

Others say xcel has scheduled the repairs, but has then put them off. Xcel says they are towards the end of the replacement project with about 5 miles of mains that need to be replaced still.

Bonnie Lund: "At this point we are 82% complete on the pipe replacement on mains, and then as far as services, we have a little over 500 left."

But, as the weather gets colder, homeowners are worried that it won't get done, or that they will be in the cold. Xcel has told homeowners that when repairs are made natural gas lines will have to be shut off. It won't be long before Red River Valley temperatures are below zero.

Joanne Carlson: "They have to shut off the service, it does make me a little nervous, it makes me a little nervous, yeah."

Xcel Energy says crews will notify homeowners when their pipes are being replaced so that they can get back into the house to turn the gas bock on and light pilot lights if needed. Xcel says they want to have everything done in about a month.

Bonnie Lund: "We hope to complete the majority of the work by the end of November, we do have crews working extended hours, six days a week as much as weather allows at this point."

But, if the weather doesn't hold up, some pipes might have to wait all winter and be replaced in the spring. The cost of the replacement project is about 4 million dollars in North Dakota and about 24 million dollars in Minnesota.