With the replacement of a section of 4-in. main at the intersection of Stockton Avenue and Main Street on Dec. 16, New Jersey Natural Gas retired the last piece of cast iron main in its system. With that, New Jersey Natural Gas is now the first utility in the state with no active cast iron in its pipeline network.
“Ensuring the safety of our customers and the reliability of our system is the most important thing we do,” said Laurence M. Downes, chairman and CEO of New Jersey Natural Gas. “By eliminating all of the cast iron main and associated services, we continue to strengthen our system and the lifeline service we provide. This is an important milestone in the history our Company and an accomplishment of which we are all proud. It is also a credit to the dedication of the women and men of New Jersey Natural Gas and the leadership of our regulators.”
Over the past three years, New Jersey Natural Gas has replaced approximately 62 miles of cast iron and 159 miles of unprotected steel main and associated services throughout its service territory as a part of its Safety Acceleration and Facility Enhancement (SAFE) program. Approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in October of 2012, SAFE was designed to replace 276 miles of aged infrastructure. Cast iron and unprotected steel main were most commonly used prior to 1970, and are more susceptible to corrosion and leaks.
New Jersey Natural Gas routinely replaces its facilities through its annual capital construction and accelerated infrastructure programs. The replacement of its aged main through the SAFE program is consistent with the state’s Energy Master Plan and its emphasis on infrastructure reliability and resiliency as a pathway to lower energy costs and enhanced energy security.
New Jersey Natural Gas will continue the replacement of 55 miles of unprotected steel main and services through fiscal 2016, and has filed with the BPU to replace an additional 276 miles.
New Jersey Natural Gas is New Jersey Resources’ principal subsidiary that operates and maintains over 7,000 miles of natural gas transportation and distribution infrastructure to serve over half a million customers in New Jersey’s Monmouth, Ocean and parts of Morris and Middlesex counties.