Friday, March 17, 2023

Honoring and thanking our natural gas workers

Memphis Light, Gas and Water natural gas crews go the extra mile. That’s why it’s a great opportunity to honor and thank our gas workers on National Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day. A “thank you” breakfast was held for our gas workers Friday morning at MLGW’s Brunswick Service Center, North Service Center and South Service Center where they are based to let them know how much we appreciate them.  

Just two years ago, our natural gas workers completed a 30-year project to dig up, replace and retrofit the old, outdated cast iron gas mains that existed around Memphis and Shelby County. Replacing that old gas infrastructure in the interest of safety and reliability was long, arduous work accomplished by MLGW gas workers. And they go that extra mile every day.

MLGW and other natural gas utilities around the country observe Natural Gas Utility Workers’ Day on Saturday, March 18 this year. It’s a day when communities such as Memphis and Shelby County offer recognition and gratitude to employees who work to provide natural gas service safely and reliably to area homes and businesses. MLGW would like to thank and honor our natural gas workers for their hard work and their dedication to safety.

That Cast Iron Replacement project cost $100 million and lasted over 30 years. It replaced more than 330 miles of cast iron pipes with polyethylene or steel pipes, improving natural gas safety for the public and reinforcing MLGW’s natural gas supply infrastructure for reliability and integrity as well as earthquake mitigation.

“This Saturday we honor the exceptional work our natural gas utility workers do every day in Memphis, Shelby County and across the nation,” said Doug McGowen, MLGW President and CEO. “MLGW and our customers depend on our natural gas workers to deliver reliable, affordable, and most importantly, safe natural gas service. When we completed our cast iron gas distribution pipeline replacement project two years ago, it helped reinsure the safe delivery of natural gas to our service area. Safety is a vital aspect of our work, and our gas employees put safety first every day. They deserve a day to be recognized for their hard work, dedication and accomplishments. Thank you, MLGW natural gas workers!”

The annual nationwide event is intended to build public awareness about the hard work done by the employees of natural gas utilities. March 18 is the date of the New London, Texas school explosion in 1937 that killed more than 300 and ultimately led to the widespread odorization of natural gas with the odorant mercaptan and an increased emphasis on gas safety. Mercaptan is that rotten egg smell that makes natural gas detectable and stinky. Safety is a vital aspect to natural gas distribution and the employees of distribution companies endeavor to make natural gas delivery as safe as possible. MLGW’s gas workers go the extra mile, and for that, we are indeed grateful.


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