Natural Gas Leaks
Natural gas leaks are rare, but can happen anywhere.
How can I tell if there is a leak?
A natural gas leak can impact you, even if you don’t have natural gas service at your home or business. It’s possible for natural gas to migrate into neighboring buildings, including those without natural gas service, so even if you’re not a Oneonta Utilities Gas customer, leaks from nearby facilities and/or pipelines could affect you. Natural gas leaks can be handled quickly and easily if you know what to look for and what to do if you find one.
Natural gas has proven to be one of the safest of all energy sources for residential, commercial and industrial uses. Natural gas is nontoxic and lighter than air so it disperses easily into the atmosphere. Since natural gas is colorless and odorless, a distinct odor (mercaptan) is added to allow early detection in case of leakage. Mercaptan is a chemical that can tip you off to possible leaks because it smells like rotten eggs. Make sure all family members know what to do if they smell gas.
Odor Fade
Even though a distinctive odor is added to natural gas to assist in the detection of leaks, you should not rely on just your nose to alert you to the presence of natural gas. There are a number of reasons why your sense of smell may not always let you know that gas is leaking or has been released. For example, certain conditions in pipe and soil may cause ‘odor fade’ - the loss of odorant so that it is not detectable by smell. Some people may not be able to smell the odor because they have a diminished sense of smell, or are experiencing olfactory fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it). Some physical conditions including common colds, sinus conditions, allergies, eating certain foods, inattentiveness, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, drugs, and certain medications may also lessen the ability to smell the odor. In addition, the odor may be masked or hidden by other odors that are present, such as cooking or damp, musty, or chemical odors.
Prevent Line Damage and Leaks in Your Home

The customer is responsible for maintaining all piping from the meter to the natural gas equipment.

Suspect a Leak?
If you do, leave the premises immediately and call the dedicated emergency line from a cell phone or a neighbor's phone:
1-(866) 274-5488

OR call 911

Quick Guide: Signs of a Natural Gas Leak
What You See:

Abnormally high pilot flame

Vapor cloud/mist

Dirt/debris blown in air

Collection of dead insects

Abnormal dead/dying vegetation

What You Smell
  Rotten egg-like odor
Unusual hissing/roaring
Signs of a Natural Gas Leak
Indoors
Outdoors

Smell      A distinctive odor similar to rotten eggs

See         A cloud/mist, bubbles in standing water,  blowing debris,dead/dying vegetation

Hear       A roaring, hissing, or whistling sound

From your cell phone or a neighbor's phone call Oneonta Utilities 24/7 Emergency Line at:

1-(866) 274-5488 OR call 911

If You Suspect a Natural Gas Leak:
Leave your home IMMEDIATELY
Remain calm, and do not use anything that could create a spark.

Do Not Operate:

  • Light Switches
  • Doorbells
  • Phones
  • Electrical Appliances

Smell     A distinctive odor similar to rotten eggs

See        Pilot flame burning abnormally high

Hear      Unusual noises coming from appliances

You are there now.