Atmos Energy responded to several odor calls Wednesday in the Stephenville area, and today they are responding to similar calls in Dublin.
“In responding to those calls, we have not found any hazardous leaks on our system; therefore, no evacuations have been issued by Atmos Energy,” the company stated in an email to the E-T.
Atmos says the source of the odor is excess mercaptan, a harmless, nontoxic chemical with a skunk-like odor.
“We add it to our system because its strong odor helps to detect a leak,” Atmos said. “During routine pipeline maintenance in the Stephenville area, we inadvertently added too much mercaptan to the system, which then escaped into the air and gave the false impression of a gas leak. To reiterate: we have not found any hazardous leaks on our system.
“The safety of the public, our employees and our system is our highest priority, and we want to thank residents who did the right thing by calling our emergency number. While we have not found any hazardous leaks on our system, we respond to every odor call and will continue to do so as part of our vision to be the safest provider of natural gas services.”
More information on mercaptan can be found at https://www.phmsa.dot.gov/safety- awareness/pipeline/pipeline-leak-recognition-and-what-do.