When dealing with a sewer blockage, there is a remote, yet potentially hazardous condition that could be created when dealing with a sewer blockage.
Directional Boring and Cross Bores
Utilities use a trenchless technology called horizontal directional drilling (or directional boring) to pull cables, conduit and pipe underground. This installation method causes minimal impact to the surrounding area and minimizes environmental disruption. It also saves time, allowing utility crews to work more efficiently. There are instances when an underground sewer line is not properly identified prior to directional boring activities and it’s possible that a natural gas pipe can be inadvertently pulled through a sewer line. The resulting condition is known as a “cross bore.” Cross bores can go unnoticed for months or even years. They are typically discovered when it becomes necessary to clear a sewer line blockage.
If a natural gas pipe has been bored through the sewer line, the gas pipeline could be damaged, resulting in a loss of service and a potentially hazardous leak condition. If you are aware of the existence of a cross bore, call Nicor Gas at 888.642.6748 - report it as a natural gas emergency - and call 911.