A foul odor commonly associated with natural gas leaks caused dozens of residents in Valmeyer and rural Waterloo to call emergency responders and Ameren Illinois on Thursday night.
Fortunately, Ameren said the issue was simply due to an odorant injection malfunction at its gas regulator station.
“We inadvertently placed too much mercaptan (odorant that we add to natural gas to give it the rotten egg smell) into our gas regulator station,” Ameren spokesperson Brian Bretsch told the Republic-Times. “When customers were using gas appliances or gas furnaces in their homes, the smell was stronger than usual, prompting them to call us.”
Ameren responded to 24 “gas leak” calls in Waterloo, Valmeyer and old Valmeyer, as evidenced by a large presence of Ameren Illinois trucks in the area.
“Everything checked out OK in the homes,” Bretsch stressed. “There was never a natural gas leak and the gas regulator station is fine.”
Bretsch commended the Ameren customers for following the safety protocol of “Smell Gas, Leave Fast” and calling Ameren Illinois at 1-800-755-5000.
For a short video on natural gas safety courtesy of Ameren Illinois, click here.