South Yorkshire Times August 9, 1958
Part of Gas Survey
Those Holes in the Roads at Conishrough
The East Midlands Gas Board are at present carrying out a gas leak testing survey in Conisbrough with a new and unusual instrument which detects the slightest presence of gas in the air.
This is the explanation of the small drilled holes about seven feet apart which are being made in streets throughout Conisbrough.
Three men comprise the testing team. One man drills a small hole in the road and another man inserts into the hole a slim tube attached to a small piece of apparatus slung from his shoulder, known as a detector meter. These two men, together with a vehicle driver, make up a specially trained mains survey team to test for gas leaks.
The purpose of the survey is to ensure the safety of the public and to prevent loss of gas through untraced leaks in the mains supply. The extreme sensitivity of the new instrument allows the most minor mains faults to be traced long before they would otherwise become apparent. They can then be repaired in the early stages before becoming serious, and thus savings in gas can be made when the fault is found early. Such is the sensitivity of the machine that it will register the presence of gas in as low a proportion as one part in 2,500 in the air.
After the test has been carried out another team of men follow the first team and carry out any repairs where faults have been identified and then cover up all the holes made.
A Gas Board official told the “South Yorkshire Times” this week that the survey in Conisbrough had almost been completed and that no major faults had been found. A few minor faults had been detected and made good.
It is the first time this Instrument has been used in the Mexborough district and the tests are part of a three year programme designed eventually to cover every main within the Board’s area.
The teams working on the survey cover between one and two miles a day and the survey costs about £12 a mile to carry out. There are 9,000 miles of mains to be surveyed within the East Midland Gas Boards area and attention is being given first to districts liable to mining subsidence and where mains run very close to occupy property.
The official said that the repairs were carried out without the necessity of cooking up the gas supply to householders.