A year of extreme snowfall and continuing residential and commercial growth across our service territories highlight the commitment of UniSource natural gas employees to protect their community’s safety and economic health.
Despite record snow and cold weather, UniSource gas did not suffer any system failures last winter and hasn’t so far this winter thanks to proactive preparation.
“We’re your neighbors and we know all too well how important reliable service is throughout the year, but particularly in these harsh conditions,” said Martin Anaya, Director of UniSource gas services. “The minute winter ends, we start right away on securing our system for the next one. We still have cold weeks ahead, and we’re well-positioned to ensure safety and reliability under current and extreme winter conditions.”
We take many steps each year to repair, maintain and improve our system:
- In addition to equipment inspections to evaluate winter performance, we complete post-winter assessments to identify and assess any issues that may have occurred over the season.
- Work is prioritized and re-evaluated continuously to focus on the highest impact, highest value upgrades.
- We provide targeted training to all field employees. Our new Operations and Emergency Response Training Facility and Training Center in Prescott allows for simulated emergency response and mitigation on live facilities, leak investigation and mitigation in real conditions and classroom training.
- We prepare our partners for problems that may occur. We meet regularly with first responders in our communities to meet and conduct simulated emergency drills, exercises and detailed after-action reviews.
- We’ve installed remote pressure recorders at many key system locations to allow real-time pressure monitoring.
Growth is also considered in our modeling, Anaya noted. “As our systems grow, they are constantly evaluated for additional capacity needed to ensure reliability.”
Ultimately, he said, success relies on constantly planning, adapting and looking ahead. “The temperatures might be in the single digits in some of our service areas, but we’re already preparing for fire season. And by the time summer rolls around, we’ll have our eyes on the winter and how to best prepare our teams and our stakeholders for those conditions. We’re committed to service and to safety in the communities we serve.”