By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. detected a rare "failure" Tuesday morning when it performed routine hydrostatic testing on a 1.27-mile natural gas pipeline in downtown Bakersfield, the company said.
Water bubbled up during the test near the corner of F Street and Golden State Highway, said PG&E spokeswoman Katie Harlan Allen. Now the utility must determine why, make any needed repairs and re-test the pipeline, she said.
The work is expected to take no more than a week, probably less than that, she said.
Hydrostatic testing involves filling a section of pipe with water, pressurizing it to levels far higher than it would normally operate with and monitoring it for eight hours to detect any defects.
Since 2011, PG&E has tested some 400 miles of pipeline in the service area that extends from the Oregon border to Bakersfield and this was the sixth failure discovered, Allen said,
She said she didn't know how many individual tests were done on those 400 miles of pipeline.
Pipeline safety has been a sensitive issue at PG&E since a San Bruno gas line operated by the company ruptured on Sept. 9, 2010, killing eight people and injuring another 60.