Safety First

Colonial Pipeline strives to protect the environment, the general public and its employees.

Colonial takes care to ensure that our pipelines, breakout tank terminals and delivery facilities use the latest technology that meets or exceeds all state and federal regulations.

Colonial's pipe is made of improved steels and is subjected to rigorous quality control testing both at the mill and during installation. Heavier-wall pipe is used in sensitive areas such as waterways or river crossings. Corrosion-resistant waterproof coatings preserve the integrity of the pipeline, while cathodic protection deters corrosion of the metal underground.

Colonial is proud of its pipeline control center. Here, Colonial's skilled controllers, using high-tech computers, monitor flow rates, pressures, pump operating status and valve positions. Controllers can shut down a pipeline section within seconds, if necessary.

Since its beginnings in 1962, Colonial has used numerous techniques and inspection devices to test the integrity of its pipelines. In-line inspection devices, known as "smart pigs," have unique and important purposes.

One type of tool, which has been in use by Colonial on a regular basis in its large-diameter lines since 1985, is called a deformation pig. As this device travels through the pipeline, it takes precise readings of deformities such as dents or buckles in the pipeline. Colonial has inspected 6,601 miles of pipeline using this special tool.

Another kind of pig, in regular use by Colonial since 1985, uses magnetic flux leakage. This inspection device can locate corrosion down to the size of a half-inch. It also looks for locations where the steel is thin or where gouges have been made in the pipe. Colonial has inspected over 5,421 miles with the magnetic flux pig.

In 1994, Colonial, with the help of IPL Partners, Ltd., funded the development of a new tool for inspecting liquid pipelines. This new pig, or elastic wave tool, which utilizes ultrasonic technology, is designed to find cracks in pipe. Over 202 miles of pipe have been inspected with this tool. In addition, 3,908 feet of pipeline have been excavated, inspected and repaired, when needed.

Colonial is also continuing a long-term program to retrofit geodesic domes and internal floating decks on all of its 176 open-top gasoline tanks. Through this program, Colonial will greatly reduce emissions of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Geodesic roofs also reduce the amount of rainwater that enters tanks. As of Jan. 1, 1997, Colonial had replaced 139 of its 176 open-top gasoline tanks with geodesic domes.

Colonial periodically holds "emergency response drills" to prepare employees for the unlikely event of an accident. In a drill, employees are dispersed, contractors respond and protective boom is deployed.

Colonial Pipeline contracts with aerial patrol services to fly the pipeline right of way, looking for signs of trouble or unauthorized digging equipment located near our pipeline. Pilots can quickly report what they see so that a Colonial representative can inspect in person.  Protecting against third-party encroachment of our right of way is one way Colonial protects you and the environment. See the Aerial Patrol section for more information.

These items are just a few ways in which Colonial works to insure safe operations.

CP in the Community

Colonial Pipeline Company is committed to reinvesting in the communities where we operate. For additional information and to learn more about our company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts, please visit the CP Community.

Call Before You Dig

Building a new fence or installing a swimming pool in your back yard? Is the local utility running new underground lines in your neighborhood? Be sure to call “8-1-1” before you dig near a pipeline right of way to prevent accidents and ensure safety.