Pipelines are constructed using different types of materials based on the size, pressure requirements and use. These pipeline materials include metal, concrete and occasionally plastics.
The first hydrocarbon pipelines in recorded history were in China in 500 BC and were made of bamboo.
The first oil pipeline in the United States is believed to have been built in 1862 in Pennsylvania. Before that, boats and wagons were most often used to transport oil from one location to another.
Most pipelines are underground. There are over 2.6 million miles of pipelines in the United States, operated by about 3000 companies.
The United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world.
Pipelines carry many different types of materials including oil, natural gas, biofuels, sewage, slurry, water and even beer.
Pipelines are safer and more cost-effective than other transport options. They also require less energy than trucks or rail, thereby having a much lower carbon footprint.
Pigs are used to find flaws and corrosion in pipeline walls. These pigs are not animals, but equipment that emit a squealing sound similar to a pig. These important instruments identify issues in a pipeline allowing it to be replaced before a leak develops.
Pipelines exist almost everywhere. To find a pipeline in your area you can visit this site.
You should call 811 before you dig. You should call even for small projects like installing a mailbox, planting a tree or a small flowerbed. Did you know some utilities are buried only a few inches underground? Call at least 2 days before you plan to start your project.
Markers are nearby but do not necessarily showing exactly where a pipeline is located. These markers may be in various shapes and sizes but almost always contain information about how to contact the company who operates the pipeline as well as emergency personnel.