Vandalia Leader

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Mercaptan overload causes awful odor

Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 10:59 am

A rotten egg/strong natural gas smell filled the air of Vandalia on December 18, and many concerned citizens took action by calling law enforcement officials along with Ameren Missouri.
There was not a gas leak; however, those who made the choice to call Ameren Missouri made the right choice.
An Ameren Missouri spokesperson answered an inquiry into the situation made by “The Vandalia Leader.” They first noted that they do not want folks to get lackadaisical if suspicious of smelling gas and said, ”Ameren Missouri makes safety a priority regardless of the time of day. Anytime a smell of rotten eggs, or it is believed that there is a gas leak, we want them to call.”
Ameren Missouri reported that the odor was caused by the supplier of the additive mercaptan, which is added to provide an odor for the public’s protection in detecting natural gas leaks.
Apparently, too much of the mercaptan was added to the odorless gas.
The torch like fires that were seen around town afterwards were Ameren Missouri employees burning off areas of where concentrated mercaptan was noticed.