BY JOSH PRESLEY
Some West Point residents may have been alarmed this by the strong smell of natural gas in and around their homes. However, Atmos Energy officials have assured customers that there is no cause for concern.
Atmos Operations Manager Michelle Whittle said the companyâ€™s gas substation in Aberdeen, which feeds to lines in West Point, was over-odorizing the gas.
â€śNatural gas doesnâ€™t have a smell or a taste,â€ť Whittle said. â€śWe have to odorize the gas so our customers will be able to smell it if they have a gas leak.â€ť
She said Atmos began receiving calls from concerned residents about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, and technicians worked through the night responding to each call.
â€śWe sent a technician out to our Aberdeen station where the odorizing occurs and, sure enough, it was overdoing it,â€ť Whittle said. â€śItâ€™s supposed to drop the odor in every 48 seconds, but was doing it every 12 seconds.â€ť
She said the increase in odorizer led to a much more pungent smell coming from any home with a pilot light or gas water heater.
â€śThe only thing thatâ€™s out of the ordinary is the smell,â€ť Whittle said. â€śIt doesnâ€™t mean anyone has a leak, and all our other systems are functioning normally.â€ť
She said a positive to come from the mistake is that it has helped Atmos identify any homes that did, in fact, have leaks.
â€śThere were a couple potentially dangerous leaks that the residents werenâ€™t even aware of,â€ť Whittle said. â€śWeâ€™ve taken care of those, and identifying those problems was worth all the extra hours of work we had to put in.â€ť
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