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Recognizing Pipeline Leaks

Leaks from natural gas pipelines are very rare. However, it is important to know how to recognize them in case one occurs in your community.

Natural gas utilities add a highly recognizable sulfur-like odor to natural gas to assist in leak detection. But don't rely on your nose alone. Be alert for any of these gas leak warning signs:

  • A sulfur-like or rotten-egg smell
  • Dirt spraying or blowing into the air
  • A hissing or roaring sound
  • Continual bubbling in water
  • Grass or plants dead or dying for no apparent reason.

What to Do

  1. Leave the area immediately and move to a safe location. Do NOT go back until safety officials say it is safe.
  2. Ask a trusted adult to call 911 and the local natural gas utility.
  3. Warn others to stay away.
  4. Unless you are a safe distance away, do not use fire or electricity—a spark from a match, phone, or electrical device (even a doorbell or radio) could ignite the gas.

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