We certainly hope not! Rainbows are cool to look at, but not when they’re on water near our underground natural gas pipelines.

Twice a month, Todd Tarlton and his team of pilots at Gateway Air Service take to the skies in search of these rainbows. No, they’re not looking for a pot of gold. They’re part of DTE’s plan to deliver safe, reliable natural gas service to homes and businesses.

Traveling 140 mph at 800 feet in the air, Tarlton and his team perform aerial patrols of DTE’s underground pipelines. The flyovers allow them to visually inspect 2,200 miles of pipeline each month.

“We’re looking for anything that looks like a gas leak or could cause one,” Tarlton said. “That could be dead vegetation, rainbows in water, and digging – that’s the most common one.”

Sure technology like pressure sensing equipment could notify DTE of a leak, but there’s an added value to having eyes on the lines, Tarlton said.

“A lot of times, we’re able to identify a threat or hazard before a leak is caused,” Tarlton said. “It’s faster, effective, and allows us to see exactly what’s going on around the pipelines.”

Watch the video below to see how we’re keeping you safe.