Nov 23, 2021 - News
Atmos Energy replaces Dallas' cast iron pipes
An Atmos Energy maintenance truck
Photo: Jon Freilich for Bloomberg via Getty Images

Atmos Energy notified the city of Dallas that the company finished replacing all of the cast iron piping in its Dallas natural gas lines.

Why it matters: Federal regulators have warned about dangers of cast iron gas lines for years. Cast iron is more prone to explosions as it ages.

  • A pipeline safety expert told WFAA that using such a brittle material to transport natural gas was “exposing the people in Dallas to a form of Russian roulette.”

Context: In February 2015, Dallas had 456 miles of cast iron piping in place, more than any other city in Texas.

  • Most states stopped using similar pipes years ago.

Flashback: In 2018, a home in Northwest Dallas with cast iron pipes exploded, killing a 12-year-old girl. Two other homes on the block caught fire or exploded the same week.

  • The tragedy prompted a series of investigations.
  • At the time, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins requested a report from Atmos, saying that he wanted all cast iron pipes in Dallas out of the ground by the end of that year.
  • Atmos said then that it could complete replacement by the end of 2023.

What they’re saying: “By partnering with our state regulatory agencies and local governments, we continue to make significant improvements to our infrastructure,” Atmos senior vice president Jeffrey Knights wrote in a letter to city leaders.

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