Natural gas leaks rise after a rough winter

Call 9-1-1 and the gas company if you smell natural gas

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – In the past few weeks, it seems like we have been reporting a lot of natural gas leaks, and it’s all because of the brutal winter we’ve had.

The most recent gas leak was Monday on Pine Street in Chicopee. Columbia Gas Spokeswoman Andrea Luppi told 22News there have been more gas leaks than usual in the past few weeks. She said as the ground thaws and freezes again, the earth moves, and with it, the natural gas pipes.

Sometimes, the pipes can break, causing a gas leak. The pipes are prone to leak because they are relatively old and made of cast iron, while new pipes are made of plastic.

Shawn Thomas of Ludlow said, “I don’t worry about it. I kind of know what to look for, when you smell gas and all of that, so I don’t really worry about it but the only thing I guess that would concern me is people especially with children who don’t know the warning signs of gas leaks.”

Columbia Gas has invested $80 million in a 20 year project to replace the cast iron pipes with plastic pipes.

If you ever smell the odorant in natural gas, you’re advised to call 9-1-1 and the gas company right away.

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