Cross Bore

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Could your sewer cause a natural gas explosion?

Five things you should know about sewer safety from Puget Sound Energy

1. Natural gas pipes sometimes intersect sewer pipes.

For many years, utilities nationwide have installed gas pipelines by boring underground (rather than digging trenches) to avoid tearing up paving and landscaping. "Cross bores" are a rare side effect that can happen when the machine used to install gas pipelines inadvertently bores through sewers – which are difficult to detect – leaving the gas pipelines vulnerable to damage by cutting tools like sewer cleaners and rooters.

2. Cross bores are safe unless they are damaged.

Cross bores pose no threat to your home or business – unless they are cut or damaged – which is why it is important to contact PSE before you clear a blocked sewer line.

3. They can happen even in homes with no natural gas service.

Homes not served by natural gas can have cross bores from pipelines in the street or serving a neighbor’s home.

4. PSE will detect and remove them, at no cost to you.

PSE is teaming with Hydromax USA to use sophisticated equipment like robotic sewer cameras to identify underground cross bores. As soon as you call PSE, it will dispatch a technician – free of charge – to meet with you or your plumber and locate the gas pipeline. They usually arrive within 60 minutes.

5. Blocked sewer? Call PSE first.

Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or you are hiring a plumber to clear a blocked sewer, contact PSE at 1-888-225-5773 beforehand. For more information, visit