Town Square

Letter: Ways to avert San Bruno disaster

Original post made on Sep 22, 2010

"Last week's San Bruno fire has left an indelible impression on the nation's mind. Gas leaks cause non-controllable fires. Ground movement due to growth of tree roots, earthquakes or floods cause cracks in the underground gas pipes that start leaking. To avert such disasters, some suggestions are presented."

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, September 21, 2010, 1:59 PM


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Posted by Mike
a resident of another community
on Sep 22, 2010 at 1:02 pm

No offense, T.S., but you make it sound like we know what caused the San Bruno explosion and fire already - we don't. And your proposals are for the most part, preposterous...

1. Use coiled accordion type flex pipe sections at all bends and joints of gas supply lines
- Are you an engineer? Do they make 30" high pressure flex pipe? It's not a dryer vent, it's a high pressure gas line.

2. Closely monitor sudden changes in gas pressure in the supply lines - They already do this.

3. Use lower gas pressure in old supply lines until replaced with new ones
- People would complain about not having adequate pressure to their homes. Do you want people freezing to death with no heat? Didn't think so.

4. At the point of branch lines to housing and building developments, install shut off valves that may be remotely controlled from an operating room
- Your one and only useful suggestion. Useful, but not original. Everyone has been talking about this starting from the day of the fire.

5. Install easy manual shut off valve for each home and building about twenty feet away from the building
- Many homes in California aren't 20 feet apart. What about condos and townhomes? And the row-houses in San Francisco? And then even if they did this, isn't this an opportunity for local kids to always be turning people's gas off?

6. Relocated water heaters and gas furnaces twenty feet away from the houses and buildings they serve
- Come on, is this practical for the many hundreds of thousands of houses in the Bay Area alone? Get real T.K.