Cavanaugh

Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Cavanaugh will visit Tallassee Aug. 14th to look at new gas lines being installed in the city.

Mayor Johnny Hammock said he and Cavanaugh would meet at his office in city hall at 10 a.m. and then go where the city is replacing one mile of cast-iron gas lines.

“The city has 30 miles of cast-iron gas lines and this is the first step we are taking to replace them,” Hammock said. “Those pipes are old and outdated. Replacing them is in the best interest of the city and its citizens. In the long run, this will save money because we will not lose gas through those pipes.”

With a lifespan of only 60 years, Hammock said the cast-iron pipes beneath the city are overdue for an upgrade. Cast-iron piping is more susceptible to rust and corrosion, causing hidden cracks and holes in which gas can seep out.

Cast iron was largely used for pipes until the 1980s and was the preferred pipe material throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Cast iron is an alloy of iron containing other elements such as carbon and silicon. While it can be more brittle than pure iron, it is extremely durable and can withstand high amounts of pressure.

There has been a push to replace cast-iron pipes throughout the nation. The U.S. Department of Transportation recently estimated 30,000 miles of cast-iron pipe still carried gas in the United States, with the highest percentage in older Eastern cities such as New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Tallassee’s cast-iron pipes were put in place under the direction of Mount Vernon Mills, which can be traced back to the Jones Falls area in what is now Baltimore in the early 1900s.