Natural gas is an efficient, safe, colorless and odorless gas. For easy detection, we add a harmless chemical called mercaptan to give gas a distinctive odor. Most people describe the smell as rotten eggs or hydrogen sulfide like odor.
It smells bad for a good reason - in case of a gas leak! If you smell natural gas, leave the house. Do not use a light switch, telephone or cell phone. Once you are safely out of the house call us at 402.554.7777 or 911. Our gas emergency line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We immediately dispatch a service technician to your house to investigate the smell. When we arrive an adult must be present to meet us. Our average arrival time is under 25 minutes!
Besides utility companies need for mercaptan, there are other trades that use it. Industries use it for jet fuel, pharmaceuticals and livestock feed additives. It is used in many chemical plants. Mercaptan is less corrosive and less toxic than similar sulfur compounds found naturally in rotten eggs, onions, garlic, skunks, and, of course, bad breath. In other words, forms of mercaptan can be found in things that smell.