April 13th, 2015
Augusta, Maine (April 13, 2015) – Summit Natural Gas of Maine today announced plans to inspect and potentially replace equipment called “electro fusion tees” in Waterville, Fairfield, and Madison. The company will be reaching out to all affected customers in advance to let them know when work is scheduled to take place, beginning this week in Waterville.
Summit will be mailing a letter to all affected customers in advance of scheduled work, and will also call customers the day before work begins. The replacements will take approximately 8 to 12 hours in each location, and natural gas service will be turned off while the work is completed. Once work is complete, Summit crews will need to re-light each customer’s natural gas equipment. If a customer is not home at the time work is completed, the company will leave a door hanger with contact information and a representative will return the same day to re-light the equipment.
“We recognize that a disruption to service is an inconvenience to our customers; anyone with concerns regarding a daytime service interruption should contact Summit, and we will take all steps to arrange an alternate time to complete this work” said Keith Lincoln, Director of Gas Operations & Construction for Summit Natural Gas of Maine. “We also will be conducting additional outreach to all of our business customers to ensure this work does not impact their operations.”
These electro fusion tees are being replaced because Summit discovered that a contractor working for the company had used a tool improperly during the installation of the equipment.
“It is unacceptable that this has happened and we have taken a number of steps to ensure something like this does not occur in the future. We are no longer allowing contractors to use this equipment installation method and have greatly increased the number of inspections being performed on this type of installation to ensure greater oversight,” said Mike Tanchuk, President of Summit Natural Gas of Maine. “We are committed to delivering better service to our current and future customers, and continue to make significant improvements in our planning, oversight, and scheduling processes.”
There is no immediate safety issue with the affected electro fusion tees and the replacements are being made to avoid any potential for future issues. Summit Natural Gas of Maine performs leak surveys on the system every 75 days and has been conducting those surveys even more frequently in the areas where there is a need to replace the electro fusion tees.
Affected Customers will be contacted before work begins.