Entergy New Orleans began rebuilding the natural gas system in 2007. Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters inundated the gas system and caused ongoing reliability problems in the hardest hit areas of the city. Using state-of-the-art technology and upgraded material, the company has converted a large portion of the city’s low-pressure gas system to a more modern high-pressure system. By the end of 2016, most of the flooded sections of the city had been replaced with high pressure, but several miles of low pressure pipe remain in service.
Click here for a status map.
Continuation of the Gas System Replacement
Low Pressure & Early Vintage Plastic
- As of January 1, 2018, Entergy New Orleans has replaced approximately 70 percent of the low pressure system; or 460 miles of the 650 miles that were in service when the flooding occurred.
- Over the next several years, Entergy New Orleans plans to continue replacing all remaining low pressure piping with more modern, state of the art high pressure high density polyethylene.
- In addition, approximately seven miles of a certain type of plastic pipe installed in the early 1970’s will be replaced. While safe and reliable, this early vintage plastic pipe is difficult to repair if damaged.
Less Vulnerable to Flood Damage
- The high pressure system being installed operates at a pressure of up to 99 pounds. Because of the higher pressure, it is very unlikely that the gas system would flood again.
- The new high-pressure system will be rebuilt with industry-standard, high-density polyethylene gas pipe which is virtually impervious to salt water corrosion compared to cast iron or steel traditionally used for gas systems.
Reliability and Safety Benefits
- The new system configuration introduces additional redundancies to ensure reliable delivery of gas to customers.
- Damages or leaks can be isolated and confined more easily than with the low-pressure system.
- A new safety feature known as an “excess flow valve” will be installed on most new service lines. This device will automatically stop the flow of gas if a service line is damaged.
Customer Rate Effects
The initial rebuild project, funded by Community Development Block Grant and Insurance proceeds, officially ended at the end of 2016. Most of the flooded low pressure pipe has been replaced. More miles of pipe were replaced than originally planned at no cost to customers.
The Entergy New Orleans gas rebuild project was recognized internationally as the Global Infrastructure Project of the Year by McGraw-Hill’s Platts Global Energy Awards based on strategic planning, efficiency and timeliness.
Entergy New Orleans has received authorization from the New Orleans City Council to continue rebuilding the natural gas system. That authorization allows the company to replace an additional 65 miles of pipe through mid-2019 as part of the “Gas Infrastructure Replacement Program”. There will be no immediate customer rate impact. The council will assess the program during the next Entergy New Orleans rate case, including how the investment made to replace the pipe will be recovered, and the pace at which the program will continue beyond 2019.
Minimal Disruption to Street Projects, Traffic
- Entergy New Orleans is using a drilling technology called directional boring that eliminates trenching, the traditional and extremely disruptive method for installing pipe that tore up streets and made access to homes and businesses difficult.
- The combination of innovative drilling technology and modern distribution piping will virtually eliminate disruption in the construction phase and provide better reliability once completed.
It will impact only small sections of sidewalks. This minimizes potential conflicts with future street repaving, water or sewer projects.
Instead of using a single-main configuration, Entergy New Orleans installs two mains, one on each side of city streets. This configuration dramatically reduces the need to conduct street work, minimizing any disruption of traffic.
Only small sections of sidewalks will be impacted. Cuts into the sidewalks will measure approximately 4 feet by 4 feet or 4 feet by 6 feet. The smaller cuts basically measure the size of a single sidewalk panel.
Work in Action
Watch a short time-lapse video of a crew performing rebuild project work in a neighborhood. The combination of innovative drilling technology and modern distribution piping will virtually eliminate customer disruption and ensure better gas service reliability once completed.
Frequently Asked Questions
What criteria does Entergy New Orleans use to determine which areas of the city will be rebuilt?
The sequence of replacement is driven by system reliability and leak rate. Some of the replacement schedule will also be driven by the City of New Orleans as a result of street rehabilitation and drainage projects that require gas pipes to be relocated.
What neighborhoods have been completed in the Post-Katrina rebuild?
Click here for a map showing completed areas. All areas in green were either high pressure prior to Katrina or have been converted to high pressure as part of the Gas Rebuild.
When will the gas system in my neighborhood be replaced?
Click here for a map of the areas to be replaced.
The purple areas are where low pressure remains. The yellow areas indicate where replacement work is either in progress or will start in the near future. As yellow areas are completed, they will become green.
Will my gas service be interrupted?
Customers will be notified about the work schedule by mail, door hangers or by a visit from an Entergy representative. Customers will experience a minimal gas service interruption while their gas meter is transferred from the old system to the new system.
When will the Gas Infrastructure Replacement Program be completed?
Entergy New Orleans is currently authorized by the New Orleans City Council to replace 65 miles of pipe through mid-2019. At that time, some low pressure and early vintage pipe will remain in service. With additional council authorization, Entergy New Orleans has requested to replace all remaining low pressure and vintage plastic by approximately 2026.