By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 10/16/20.
Natural gas is a clean, easy and cheap way to heat a home or run an appliance. However, working with its connections needs to be done by those certified in the process to make sure that no dangerous leaks occur. For Las Cruces Utilities (LCU), that means helping customers obtain fabricated gas line manifolds that are up to the gas system’s standards, by making them in-house.
“Our yearly certifications allow some of our associates to fabricate these manifolds in-house to meet our customer needs,” said Pete Duran, LCU interim gas system operations supervisor.
Fabrication is the process of welding piping components – from the main gas line pipe to the lower pressure pipelines that run into a home or business – to the exact specification of what each location might need. Recently, LCU Senior Gas Welder Lupe Valdez had an order of a new connection needed at an apartment complex. He needed to weld multiple pipes fittings together to fit the specific spacing of the complex, and to make sure that it fits the LCU gas system.
“It’s a service we provide in order to make sure that from our line to the gas meter, property owners can feel secure that gas will flow easily and safely,” Duran said.
Natural gas is a useful fuel but, in its raw state, it is both odorless and colorless. Gas safety measures now include the addition of mercaptan to create a recognizable sulfur smell that alerts customers to a gas leak. If you ever smell the familiar, sulfur rotten egg smell, or just a strong smell around your gas meter or near your natural gas appliances, give Utilities Emergency Dispatch a call day or night, at 575-526-0500.
LCU can be reached at 575-528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: LCU Senior Gas Welder Lupe Valdez welds the new gas line connections for a new customer ensuring high quality work for the LCU gas system.