The natural gas journey to your home requires reliable pipelines and infrastructure. Our 5,200 miles of underground gas mains and service lines are one of the safest means of distributing gas to you. Natural gas is safe when used correctly, but may become dangerous and deadly when it leaks or doesn't combust properly in appliances.
Remember to trust your 3 S's - smell, sight and sound - to detect natural gas.
- Sight: dead vegetation or bubbling water near your natural gas meter
- Smell: rotten egg or skunk
- Sound: hissing
Because natural gas is odorless, we add an odorant called mercaptan that has a distinctive smell, which most people associate with rotten eggs or skunks.
Natural gas is delivered by an underground service line, which runs from a main in the street to the meter. We are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the service line, regulator and meter. The property owner is responsible for the fuel line on the house side of the meter and buried lines after the meter.
Prevent leaks and corrosion. Schedule periodic line inspections with a licensed contractor. Here are more details and illustrations about your responsibilities when it comes to natural gas pipeline safety.
How can I detect a gas leak?
- Rotten egg or skunky odor
- Dead vegetation above a buried gas line in an otherwise green area
- Bubbles above a buried gas line after watering or rain
- Dirt or dust blowing from a hole where a gas line may be exposed
- Hissing sound near a gas line or gas appliance in conjunction with a rotten egg odor
- A natural gas meter dial that continues to move after all natural gas appliances and equipment have been shut off
If you suspect a natural gas leak…
- Leave the area immediately and call 911 or 448-4800. Use a neighbor’s phone if needed.
- Do not return until the area is declared safe.
- Don't stop to open a window.
- Don't touch anything that might create a spark. Some ignition sources include telephones, cell phones, pagers, light switches, garage door openers, flashlights, vehicles and other running equipment.
- Stay away from carpeted areas to avoid sparks of static electricity.
Our utility service specialists will respond to indoor natural gas odor complaints, while our leak search technicians will respond to outdoor natural gas odor complaints. Because we care about the safety of our customers, there is no charge for this service.
Natural gas safety tips
- Keep all natural gas appliances clean and properly vented.
- Never cover fresh air vents that supply air to your appliances.
- Do not store any flammable materials in or near the natural gas appliances (Don't use the oven as a storage area).
- Never use your oven or stove top to heat your apartment or dry your clothes.
- Keep the area around your furnace and water heater clear.
- Never leave any food unattended while it's cooking.
What happens when natural gas service lines are found leaking?
We will evaluate the severity of the leak and can immediately turn off natural gas service to the premises to eliminate hazards to persons and property until the proper repair or replacement is made.
An easy way to tell if natural gas appliances are adjusted properly and getting enough oxygen is to check the color of the flame. The flame should be about 90 percent blue. A yellow flame indicates the appliance isn't working right and could be giving off harmful fumes. Remember, not all problems with natural gas appliances will have the symptom of a yellow pilot light - and not all pilot lights are visible.
Propane Air Plant
We produce a synthetic form of natural gas at our propane air plant. The blend reduces the amount of gas purchased on the market during cold weather.
Call 811 before you dig to have your utility lines marked for free, and avoid hitting a line. Hitting a line is potentially fatal, could disrupt service and have costly repair costs.
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