Warner Robins fixes gas leaks discovered in Public Service Commission report

WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— The Public Service Commission performed a comprehensive inspection of the Warner Robins Gas System from October 26 to October 29.

During the inspection, they became aware of issues with multiple Grade 1 leak, with at least one existing for 10 months without being addressed.

They also became aware of several Grade 2 leaks in the business district that had not been addressed since 2018.

We spoke with Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms about the report. He says the violations were not reported properly to the city.

Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms

“Once the PSC paperwork came in then Mr. Walters immediately got on it and they were repaired quickly,” says Mayor Toms.

Georgia Public Service Commission vice-chair Tim Echols says this is a success story and PSC inspection system worked as it should.

Georgia Public Service Commission vice-chair Tim Echols

“Our staff has gone out to Warner Robins they’ve done the initial investigation. Our inspectors are top-notch, we have brought this to the cities attention. The leaks were taken very seriously,” says Echols.

Mayor Toms says all the leaks mentioned in the report are taken care of. The city was having trouble retaining staff at their Gas Department. Several months ago they decided to hire ESG to run their gas system. He says rates won’t be affected.

“Being a private company they’re able to pay more and so they’re going to have an easier time staffing people long term than we do,” says Mayor Toms.

The report lists a $22,000 fine. Echols says their concern is safety and sometimes a fine is used as an incentive to maintain gas systems. He says the city will have to complete a leak survey and corrosion survey by May 15.

“As we’ve done before if the city is in full compliance that very well could be reduced,” says Echols. “I don’t know we’ll just have to wait and see what our commissioners decide.”

Mayor Toms says they’re very concerned about people’s safety. He says the gas system under ESG is safer now.

“We are very connected and on top of things this was a very serious situation that we take very seriously,” says Mayor Toms.

What to do if you smell gas in your home

Mayor Toms also tells us that while the gas line system is safe if citizens smell gas in their homes they should immediately call 911.

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