COLLINSVILLE – Teams from East St. Louis, Peoria and Springfield represented Ameren Illinois at the 2023 National Gas Rodeo for natural gas workers – a two-day competition, Sept. 14-15, in Springfield, MO.

The Gas Rodeo attracts the best natural gas workers from around the company to compete in events based on traditional tasks and skills. Ameren Missouri is sending six teams to the competition.

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“The Gas Rodeo is kind of like the Olympics for our gas journeymen and apprentices,” said Eric Kozak, vice president of Natural Gas for Ameren Illinois. “It’s all about competing to the best of their abilities in a safe manner. It also gives family members an up-close look at what it takes to do this type of work on an everyday basis.”

The events include meter set, service installation, pipe cut and hand dig.

Meter set: An assortment of fittings, service regulator, meter, meter gaskets and wrenches are in a tote bag. There is a plate/board with two flanges on it for assembling the meter set. Meter set must be assembled to "Rodeo standards," which is wrench tight, level, correct fittings used and regulator is in the correct direction. Judge's box must be able to be placed over the meter set.

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Service Installation: Install a service line with tracer wire from the two-inch plastic main to the service riser bracket. The team will lay out 60 feet of half-inch plastic pipe along with tracer wire in one continuous piece, insert the half-inch plastic pipe and tracer wire through the 20-foot section of two-inch plastic pipe, attach riser to bracket and connect pipe to riser with half-inch Permasert, connect pipe to stub with half-inch Permasert. Once all components are installed above grade according to the "Rodeo standards," the service tee is tapped, the service cap is installed, and the service pipe is purged. The service installation is finished when the riser valve is opened.

Pipe Cut: Six-inch .250 Grade B wall pipe will be cut using only a mechanical 4-wheel cutter with no modifications to the cutter.

Hand Dig: Dig out a 3' x 4' x 3' box filled with a mix of sand and pea gravel. Expose the five green dots painted on the bottom of the box. (Two-person teams will dig out a box 3' x 4' x 18 inches).

Ameren Illinois will have natural gas workers representing the following operating centers:

  • East St. Louis – captain Aaron Sanders, Scott Green, Alan Morgando, Cory Modglin and alternate Darian Franklin.
  • Peoria – captain Jonathan Dorich, Colt Foster, Mike Harenburger, Scott Snedden and alternate Dylan Gold.
  • Springfield – captain Justin Langley, Zach Roberts, Jason Bardwell and Lance Alaria.

About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois, Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles and our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.

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