Easton Utilities Modernizes Natural Gas System

Easton Utilities is committed to safety, reliability and innovation to serve their customers with a superior experience. A true testament to this commitment is represented by the completion of the natural gas distribution system rebuild. Spanning approximately twenty years, Easton Utilities has been upgrading the underground system with polyethylene (PE) pipe, which has a lifespan of more than 50 years. “We approached this project in a methodical manner, addressing the most vulnerable areas first, and are proud to complete the final phase of this modernization,” stated James P. Crowley, Gas Department Manager.

Easton’s first gas plant was built in 1860 and served 323 customers. By 1955, the demand on the gas department had increased to such a point that a complete revision of the plant was required. In June of 1966, the Town of Easton was converted to a natural gas system being supplied by Eastern Shore Natural Gas to serve 1,100 customers. This original system was expanded using ductile iron, cast iron and steel. The combination of all these materials formed the over 100 miles of mains which were soon reaching end of life. “Our philosophy is to stay ahead of anticipated issues and resolve them prior to a disruption to our customers,” stated Hugh E. Grunden, President and CEO of Easton Utilities. “We are committed to keeping pace, staying ahead even, with the latest safety and technology available to make our system solid and secure.”

This investment helps ensure our gas system is safe, reliable and cost efficient to operate. Because PE does not corrode, it reduces the need for ongoing cathodic protection maintenance, a requirement for the former steel pipe and cast iron gas mains. Easton Utilities natural gas system now serves over 4,600 customers in an 8.5 square mile territory. “Serving our customers in the safest, most efficient manner ultimately drove the project,” added Crowley. “The entire gas department team had a sense of ownership and pride with this project over the years.”