This is the third leak in just over a year.

Emergency responders worked for hours Wednesday in Martin County trying to help repair a broken gas line. Fire crews helped make sure the trench with the gas line was steady so it didn’t collapse. Martin County deputies closed Kanner Highway in nearly every direction after road crews who were expanding a turning lane broke a gas line. Traffic was rerouted and many who parked nearby were stranded.

sign of natural gas leak

sign of natural gas leak

The first happened in Palm City in November of 2014 which shut down part of Martin Highway for hours and caused nearby schools to be evacuated. The second happened on Martin Highway near Sunset Boulevard a little more than a month later.
A representative with the County says it will be up to the gas company and their subcontractor, who did the work, to pay for it.

Signs of a Natural Gas Leak


  • If you smell the distinctive odor of natural gas, often described as a sulfur-like odor.
  • Note: some people may not be able to smell the odor for a number of reasons (see below).

Don’t Rely on Just Your Nose

Although a distinctive odor is added to make natural gas easy to recognize, you may not be able to smell leaking gas if:

  • You have a diminished sense of smell
  • You’re experiencing odor fatigue (normal, temporary inability to distinguish an odor after prolonged exposure to it)
  • You have a physical condition such as a common cold, sinus condition or allergies
  • You use tobacco, alcohol, drugs and certain medications
  • The odor is masked or hidden by other odors that are present
  • Pipe and soil conditions have caused odor fade

Odor Fade

Sometimes physical and/or chemical processes can cause a loss of odorant in natural gas, making it undetectable by smell. Odor fade can be caused by adsorption, absorption, oxidation or any combination thereof.

Odor fade is more likely to occur in the following situations:

  • In new, steel pipe that has been recently manufactured or hasn’t been used for odorized natural gas before
  • In natural gas piping systems using higher gas pressure, and when natural gas flow is limited or intermittent
  • In the presence of rust, mill scale, moisture, air, cutting oil, pipe thread compound, liquids, condensates and other substances

Because of the possibility of odor fade, it’s important to not rely only on your sense of smell to be alerted to a natural gas leak.

So if you smell something.

Say something.

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