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Gas company says harmless additive to blame for last week’s odor complaints

| April 17, 2024

BOLIVAR (WJER) (April 11, 2024) – Authorities have identified the gas odor people were smelling and they say it is harmless.

However, Bolivar Fire Chief Shawn Lynch says residents should still call in if they’re smelling it in their homes or businesses. He says even if just one out of 100 complaints turns out to be an actual leak, it’s still worth investigating each one.

Columbia Gas of Ohio says there was too much mercaptan in the lines, causing the odor. In a Facebook post, the company says mercaptan is a harmless additive that gives normally odorless natural gas a smell to alert customers in case of a leak. They say a supplier added too much of it.

Columbia Gas says it was investigating complaints throughout northeast Ohio. By the weekend the company reported “much of the over-odorized gas has dissipated throughout our system.”

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