Herculean task cut to size through teamwork, innovation

Gas regulatorA routine call from a plumber in Nahant, MA, on August 10, 2015, resulted in an anything but a routine response by the National Grid team.

When Customer Meter Services (CMS) tech Joe Bouthiller responded, he found a pressure regulator that had been installed decades ago, and was rated for less than the current system pressure, had failed. Joe did the right thing—he replaced the regulator and brought his findings to his supervisor and CMS leadership.

Joe’s actions ultimately ensured the integrity and reliability of the gas system in two Massachusetts towns before winter’s cold arrived.

The failed regulator was a Rombach ventless regulator and it turns out these were installed on a limited basis back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. After a methodical survey of our system, we determined that the Rombach regulators were used almost exclusively in Nahant and Somerville. Our task became to replace those regulators – almost 6,300 of them—in less than 12 weeks, before demand on the gas system increased for the winter heating season.

Read how several teams pulled together to find a safe, efficient and effective solution to ensure the reliability of our system for our customers.

“This has been an unparalleled task and I am hugely proud of the response from our represented and management employees.  The effort went far beyond those directly involved in the project, as we have successfully managed business as usual and delivered the work plan with far fewer resources than normal,” says Johnny Johnston, Vice President of Customer Meter Services.  “This astounding team response and effort over the last three months was all the more impressive as all the work was completed without any lost time or OSHA injuries.  I am hugely proud of the whole team.”


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