Cross Bore | Atmos Energy
Zero lot line homes on a paved street in a neighborhood.

Cross Bore

Safely Unclogging Outside Sewer Lines

Atmos Energy and other utilities that use horizontal or trenchless boring to install buried lines have discovered some locations where the utility line was installed accidently through a sewer line outside a home or business. When this occurs, we call it a cross bore.

A cross bore with any utility line poses no safety risk as long as it is undamaged. However, if a natural gas line is cut or nicked while unclogging a sewer line, it can create a serious hazard. Damaging a natural gas line can cause a fire or explosion and lead to even more serious damage or injury to those working on the sewer line and people nearby.

Safety Tips for Sewer Work

  • Use a video inspection camera to identify the type of obstruction before attempting to unblock it. You can use our Gas Dealer Network to find a qualified dealer near you. 
  • Use an exterior cleanout to lessen the chance of natural gas entering a structure.
  • Use caution when operating power tools to clear a sewer line blockage.
  • Know and watch out for signs of a natural gas leak: rotten egg or skunk-like odor, hissing or roaring sound, bubbles in standing water.

Plumbers and Contractors - Watch this video and read the brochure to learn more about cross bores and best safety practices.

Homeowners - Watch this video to learn more about sewer clogs and natural gas safety.