Stinky gas bill on the way
This month's bill from Washington Natural Gas may smell rotten. A folder with a "scratch and sniff" panel containing the distinct odor of natural gas is included in gas bills reaching homes this month through Jan. 4. A fingernail scratch on the panel will release a smell similar to rotten eggs. This is the smell that's added to natural gas as a safety measure.
Customers should make sure that all members of the household are familiar with the odor so they can recognize it if there ever is a leak around their home or elsewhere. After using the pamphlet, dispose of it in an outdoor trash can to prevent the odor from lingering inside the home.
The smell comes from a harmless odorant called mercaptan. The odorant is added to natural gas, which otherwise is odorless, so its presence can easily be detected well before it reaches combustible levels.
Other ways to detect a natural gas leak are a hissing sound, blowing dirt, or bubbles in a puddle. If a natural gas leak ever is suspected, the following precautions are recommended:
For further details, call 464-1999.
- Open windows and doors for ventilation.
- Do not turn on or off any electrical switches, use the phone, smoke, light a match, or do anything that might create a spark.
- Leave the area and call the gas company immediately, day or night, from another location.