Logan Square Natural Gas Outage Update
The March 2 natural gas outage in Logan Square is an example of the need for Peoples Gas to continue upgrading Chicago’s natural gas delivery system. The outage occurred when a safety valve on an old, low-pressure section of the system from the late 1800s activated, shutting off the flow of gas. The advanced age and design of low pressure systems make them vulnerable to false triggers. Peoples Gas took the necessary action to isolate the affected area by disconnecting gas service at the meter for each individual home or building.
The valve has been replaced and the system is back in service – all customers have been restored. As an additional safeguard, Peoples Gas installed a remote monitoring device that will alarm in the event of unusual pressure conditions in the future.
Several parts of the system in Logan Square date back to the 1800’s.
As part of the System Modernization Program, Peoples Gas is:
Installing a new, medium-pressure system. Medium-pressure systems are more resilient and include advanced safety technology at every meter, minimizing service disruptions.
Moving inside meters outside. This means any outage would be fixed exponentially faster. The most time-consuming part of this outage was crews going door-to-door to gain access to each meter to turn-off, then relight service. With meters outside, crews and first responders will have immediate access to gas meters.
A 2020 independent engineering study ordered by state regulators found more than 80% of the iron natural gas pipes in Chicago have an average remaining life of less than 15 years.