Pipeline safety for landowners

Transmission and high pressure natural gas pipelines

We have a 2,338-km transmission and high pressure pipeline system across the southern half of Manitoba and into Saskatchewan.

The pressure in the pipeline varies from 700 to 7,320 Kpa and ranges in size from 101.6 to 406.4 mm in diameter.

Pipelines are regulated provincially by the Gas Pipeline Act and federally by the National Energy Board (NEB).

Maintaining our natural gas system

With a focus on safety and reliability, preventative maintenance is done regularly to maintain the integrity of all our transmission and high pressure pipelines.

As a part of our pipeline integrity program we do routine patrols for:

  • monitoring the right-of-way (ROW);
  • leak survey;
  • cathodic protection.

As part of our Damage Prevention and Public Awareness Programs, we work with first responders throughout the area to ensure they are familiar with our system and know the appropriate response to a natural gas emergency.

While pipelines are the safest way to transport natural gas, in the unlikely event of a natural gas release, we have trained personnel ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Pipeline safety – Click or call before you dig

The largest threat to the integrity of our pipeline is third party damages.

Digging, ditching, drilling, trenching or blasting in the area of the pipeline right-of-way (ROW) without understanding the potential danger of their actions are the most likely to damage the pipeline.

If you plan to excavate in the vicinity of our pipeline, we will mark the location of the pipeline prior to any excavation free of charge. Call or click before you dig.

Manitoba Workplace Safety & Health regulation 217/2006 and Manitoba Gas Pipeline Act regulation 140/92 requires anyone disturbing the soil to call for utility clearances prior to any construction activity.

Know what to do if you detect a natural gas pipeline leak.

Understanding the right-of-way (ROW)

The ROW is a strip of land generally between 18 and 36 metres wide containing the pipeline. The ROW:

  • allows our workers access for inspection, maintenance, testing or emergencies;
  • identifies an area that restricts certain activities to protect public safety.

While there are permanent pipeline markers located on the roads, railways and other intervals along the ROW, these only show the approximate location of the buried pipelines. The depth and location of the pipelines vary within the ROW.

The ROW has no distinct appearance indicating that it is a ROW because they run across the province through varied ecosystems such as cultivated fields, river crossings and urban areas.

Learn more about operating vehicles or equipment across a pipeline.

Easement agreements

Good working relationships between Manitoba Hydro, property owners and tenants along the ROW are essential to the safety and reliability of our pipeline system.

Recognizing their important contribution, Manitoba Hydro is committed to dealing fairly and consistently with everyone who lives and works along the pipeline route.

The year the original agreement was negotiated with property owners varies across the pipeline system. In return for compensation, the landowner grants Manitoba Hydro the right to use the ROW for constructing, operating and maintaining its pipelines.

Landowners help ensure safety along the line by abiding by the agreement and all government regulations with respect to excavation, construction or other activities over or near the pipeline.