RUNNELS COUNTY - Atmos Energy has crews in Runnels County who are working on the pipeline replacement project which will replace miles of old infrastructure with new mains and service lines.

RUNNELS COUNTY - Atmos Energy has crews in Runnels County who are working on the pipeline replacement project which will replace miles of old infrastructure with new mains and service lines.

Crews from Atmos and their contractor Mas-Tek Engineering of Dallas have been working on U.S. Highway 67 in Ballinger where the locations have been marked by safety signs.

“We are upgrading our infrastructure by doing a total replacement of mains and service lines to high density polyurethane pipe,” said Shelley D. Burnett, manager of public affairs for Atmos Energy. “We will be replacing aging infrastructure throughout our entire system over the next several years.”

The project began in the summer of 2017 and is expected to take between five and seven years to complete. Crews are currently in Ballinger and San Angelo.

The Ballinger leg of the project is expected to take the five to seven years to complete.

Replacement of lines has been completed in Wingate and work in Winters is expected to begin this summer, Burnett said.

Atmos officials say that crews try not to inconvenience customers, but sometimes it is impossible to avoid. Crews will notify businesses or residents when they will be working in their areas or neighborhoods.

“Door tags are placed to notify our customers that we will be working on their street or in their area,” Burnett said. “If any customer needs assistance, they can call our customer service line at 888-286-6700.”

Burnett also cautioned residents about doing any digging where lines may be located.

“Anyone planning to do any digging, putting in a mailbox, installing a new fence or landscaping, should call 811, (the toll-free number to have lines located) at least 48 hours before starting their project, and mark the area of their project with white paint,” Burnett explained. “ It’s the law, and it saves lives. Area utilities will have their lines located for your safety.”

Burnett also urged residents and customers to be vigilant.

“As always, if anyone smells gas they should leave the area immediately, and from a safe distance call 911, or call the Atmos Energy emergency number at 866-322-8667,” she said.