Gas will smell more this week as pipelines are tested for leaks

People should prepare for natural gas to smell more this week. Traditionally, gas companies have been checking gas pipes for leaks as the heating season begins. To detect leaks, they use an odorization process, where a smelly substance is added to the gas.

If people smell a sulfurous odor, they should immediately contact the gas engineers’ emergency service at 1239. Representatives of Pražská plynárenská, GasNet, and EG.D, a member of the E.ON group, said Monday.

Natural gas is odorless in its natural state. That is why a strong-smelling substance called odorant is added to it in special facilities, odorization stations. Deodorization is carried out by distributors, whose role is to transport the gas to end customers. The odorization process will start on Monday and run until Friday.

“At GasNet, we have about a hundred odorisation stations. We odorize natural gas in them all year round, but we will double the amount of odorant in the short term as part of this autumn event. This will help us to check our system before the winter months reliably,” described the principle of the checks to GasNet Group Chief Operating Officer Petr Koutný.

Suppose people find a gas leak in the building. In that case, gas engineers say they should immediately ensure that the premises are ventilated, avoid using open fires, electrical appliances, and lighting, and wait for the arrival of emergency services.

The emergency dispatching center at telephone number 1239 operates 24 hours a day throughout the Czech Republic, said Miroslav Vránek on behalf of Pražská plynárenská.

There are three operators of gas distribution systems in the Czech Republic. The largest gas distributor is GasNet, which supplies natural gas to more than 2.3 million customers in the country.

GasNet’s share of natural gas distribution in the Czech Republic is about 80 percent, according to the company, which manages 65,000 kilometers of pipelines. The South Bohemia region is supplied with gas by EG.D (formerly E.ON Distribuce) and the capital city by Pražská plynárenská Distribuce.