Frequently Asked Questions About Morton Municipal Gas ...
What is a municipal gas company?
Morton has its own municipal gas company. In fact, Morton is the largest municipal gas company in Illinois. The State of Illinois has over 50 municipal-owned gas companies. A municipal gas company is owned and governed by the citizens of the municipality.
Any profit made by the gas company will go back to the citizens of Morton and used to build and maintain roads and fund other capital projects for the community. Morton Municipal Gas is also a Local Distribution Company (LDC), in fact, the 204th. largest LDC in the United States. All LDC's are regulated by the Federal Department of Transportation.
The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) is the governing body in the State of Illinois.
There are approximately 1,000 public-owned gas systems nationwide.
These systems were formed because it was recognized that there are benefits provided to communities that establish public gas systems.
Following are a few facts about public owned natural gas systems:
- Local Control: A public gas system gives the community local control over how gas is provided to homes and businesses. Decisions are made locally through citizen participation instead of being made by people who don't understand local issues and who are primarily focused on profits, not service.
- Competitive Costs: The nature of public gas system's cost-scrutinized, locally controlled operations ensure that rates will be competitive. Public gas systems do not face pressure to pay dividends to distant stakeholders.
- Economic Benefits: A public gas system can play a valuable role helping community broaden its tax base and in turn improve the local economy and jobs situation. Public gas systems also help ensure that local dollars stay at home. Profits from gas sales go right back to the community to help pay for maintaining streets, sidewalks and fund other community capital projects.
- Customer Service: Local control promotes outstanding customer service because its focus is always on service, rather than profits. Service quality is not compromised because public gas systems are part of the community; they maintain a close relationship with their customers and as a result are successful in meeting their customers' needs. Our customers are also our friends and neighbors.
- Natural gas is a vital component of the world's supply of energy. Natural gas currently supplies more than 1/2 of the energy consumed by residential and commercial customers, and about 41 percent of the energy used by U.S. industry. It is one of the cleanest, safest, and most useful of all energy sources.
- Over 95 percent of the natural gas used in the United States comes from North America., Because natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel, it is playing an increasing role in helping to attain national goals of a cleaner environment, energy security and more competitive economy.
Where does the gas come from?
Gas is traded and purchased on the open market. The majority of the natural gas used by Morton comes from the panhandle region of Oklahoma and is transported to Morton by Panhandle Eastern Pipeline. (There are over 2 million miles of pipelines in the United States providing natural gas to over 68 million homes and businesses.)
How does the gas get to my home?
1… Morton Gas starts at the Panhandle Eastern - Morton Station located at 5.6 miles west of Morton on Route 98.
Natural gas has no odor, so we inject an odorant into the pipeline (typically a mercaptan compound) which gives the gas that "rotten-egg' smell.
2… From the Panhandle station, the gas comes to town through an *8 inch high pressure (250-450 psi) steel main to our Town Border Station located at Erie Ave. and Birchwood (Rt. 98).
Town Border Station at Erie and Rt. 98
(*This 8 inch main along with the Border Station was replaced during a three year (2002-2004) one million dollar project.)
3… At the Border Station, the gas is filtered, heated during winter, and metered.
Filter and Water Bath Heater at Town Border
The pressure is again reduced to 80-100 psi.
4… The gas travels through 4 to 8 inch steel and high density polyethylene pipes to district regulator stations.
String of epoxy-coated steel gas main prior to the welding operation.
5… The district regulator stations reduce the pressure to 25-60 psi.
District Station at VFW Rd. and Hampton Way
6… The gas is delivered to the distribution system thru 2 to 6 inch steel and medium density polyethylene pipes.
The distribution system is the network of mains and valves the serves the over 5600 residential, commercial and industrial customers.
Medium density polyethylene pipe
in trench ready for backfilling
7… The final journey is the 1/2 to 1 inch steel and polyethylene service lines that branch from the main to the customer meter. The pressure to the customer is reduced to 1/4 psi or 7 inches of water column and metered at the building wall with a meter setting. This meter set also includes an shutoff emergency valve.
Typical residential meter set
Where can I learn more?
For more information about pipeline safety, we encourage you to visit the following Web sites: