What is a cross bore?

A cross bore occurs when a new natural gas line is installed using a trenchless method and intersects an existing underground utility.

Cross bore conflict between sewer pipe and natural gas pipe

Take Safety Precautions
More and more utilities install underground lines using trenchless technology. Excavators are required to call 811 and request the marking of utility lines in the area. Often, sewer lines are not marked, leaving the potential for natural gas lines to be bored through the sewer lines. A cross bore can go undetected for months, even years. Eventually, a backup develops, and a plumber is called to remove the blockage. This almost always damages the utility line bored through the sewer line. If a natural gas line is damaged, gas can migrate into homes and buildings and endanger your safety and your property.


Before starting the process of cleaning out a sewer pipeline, remember to first use a camera to identify the condition of the sewer pipeline.

Close up of natural gas pipe and sewer pipe crossing paths

If you have a blockage or scheduled to have your sewer or septic pipe cleaned, make sure you or your contractor contacts us first to determine if an in-line camera inspection is necessary.

Watch the video below to learn more about sewer clogs and natural gas safety:

Plumbers and Contractors

Always assume that an obstruction involves a cross bore. Mechanical purging equipment (rooters) have the ability to damage underground utility lines. Collapsed sewer walls can also cause the rooter equipment to be misdirected outside of the sewer, bringing the equipment dangerously close to other buried utility lines.

Watch this video and learn more about cross bores and best safety practices.

Awareness of work conditions

During the process of cleaning out a sewer pipeline, be alert to any unusual conditions, which may include:

  • Hissing sounds

  • Natural gas odor

  • Blowing dirt

  • Bubbling water


If you suspect a natural gas leak or that contact with a natural gas line has occurred:

  • Stop all work

  • Leave the premises immediately and instruct others to leave the premises immediately

  • Contact Okaloosa Gas from a safe location at 850-729-4700 or 1-800-239-3878

  • Call 911

  • Keep others a safe distance away

  • Do not operate any equipment

  • Eliminate any source of ignition

  • Do not operate any pipeline equipment or facility

If You Suspect a Cross Bore

Call Okaloosa Gas immediately. We will inspect the situation at no charge.

Call: 850-729-4700 or 800-239-3878

Be Aware of Cross Bores