Gas Leak Detection Survey

Map of the 2020 walking gas survey area.

The City of Palo Alto Utilities (CPAU) began its annual walking and mobile gas leak survey of the City in mid-April, 2020. This routine inspection of our gas distribution system is conducted every year as required by Department of Transportation Pipeline Safety Regulations, and is carried out to ensure the safety of all who live and work in Palo Alto. Two types of gas leak surveys are performed every year; a walking survey of residential areas and mobile (driving) survey of business districts. Approximately one-half of the City is covered every year so that the entire gas distribution system can be reviewed in a two year period.

The City contractor, Manesco Corporation, walks residential areas to check for gas leaks along pipes, gas meters and covers. View the map of the survey area. This walking survey is expected to occur between April and September 2020. After the walking survey, the contractor will begin surveying natural gas service points, mains and meters in business districts. This mobile survey in the business districts includes atmospheric tests near gas mains, in utility manholes, at pavement and sidewalk cracks, and other locations in which it is possible to identify gas leaks. 

In the end, over 200 miles of gas main pipeline will be checked through this thorough review. If any gas leaks are found, they are documented and repaired according to CPAU’s policies. 

If a gas meter is inaccessible, the surveyor will leave a door hanger requesting that the resident contact CPAU to schedule a time for Manesco to return and complete the survey. Customers are asked to call our Gas Utility Operations for non-emergencies at (650) 838-2838 Monday through Thursday, 6:30 am to 4 pm, or (650) 496-6982 on Fridays from 6:30 am to 3 pm with any questions or concerns. If you suspect a Utilities emergency, please contact Dispatch at (650) 329-2579.

As a reminder, all City contractors and surveyors carry CPAU identification cards.

More information on gas and other utility safety items can be found at

Gas Safety Awareness Survey: In addition to the mobile and walking gas leak surveys that we conduct every year, CPAU also surveys its customers for their awareness about gas safety. This is typically conducted through automated telephone surveying. The purpose of these phone surveys is to ensure that our customers are aware of what to do if they smell gas, suspect a gas leak, and have general knowledge about gas safety. These calls are typically conducted during late summer or fall.