Commonwealth Journal

March 14, 2014

City workers burst bubble about worries over gas odor

Smell was not from leaking city pipelines

by Chris Harris
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

Gas is in the air ... or the smell of it, anyway.
City of Somerset Gas Department employees were kept busy on Friday by calls from around town reporting possible gas leaks.
Only one problem — that wasn’t always the case.
“There was no one gas leak,” said Reggie Chaney, City of Somerset Gas Manager. 
What was causing a problem was an over-abundance of an odorizing agent used to help keep the smell down. The combination of active winds on Friday created the appearance of a gas leak, when the wind picked up the odorizer and carried it all around town.
This led to people thinking they smelled a gas leak — even though that wasn’t necessarily the case.
“We are finding some people that have leaks,” said Chaney. “They’re here and there. Most of it is just the odor itself.”
By 5 p.m. Friday, the department had responded to approximately 40 calls.
That’s okay, said Chaney — “We want them to (call if they smell gas),” he said. 
He added that he expected many more once people started getting home from work after 5 p.m.