Natural gas is a safe and reliable energy source, and as your provider, it’s our responsibility to help you be an informed and educated natural gas customer.
Natural gas is an odorless and invisible gas. For your safety, Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority odorizes the natural gas with Mercaptan to smell like rotten eggs or sulfur for easy detection.
Call Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority at (803) 285-2045 if you smell natural gas or suspect a leak! Always call 911 for emergencies.
How to Recognize a Natural Gas Leak
Indoor leaks will produce the “rotten egg” odor. You may also notice hissing noises coming from your natural gas appliances. You can recognize outdoor leaks by a strong odor which may be accompanied by bubbling water, blowing dirt, dead plants or a hissing sound near a gas line or meter.
Here are some quick tips on what to do if you notice any of these signs and suspect an indoor or outdoor natural gas leak:
If you suspect an indoor or outdoor leak:
- Leave the area immediately
- DO NOT use anything electrical that may create a spark; this includes cell phones
- DO NOT operate any light switches
- DO NOT light a match
- DO NOT attempt to locate the source of a leak
- DO NOT attempt to stop a leak
- Do not return to the area until Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority or the emergency services have declared the area safe
Protect Yourself against Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can result as a byproduct of incomplete burning of natural gas or other fossil fuels.
- Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector
- Make sure all gas appliances are installed correctly and checked annually
- Have chimneys cleaned and checked every year for obstructions
- Don’t use outdoor appliances or equipment indoors for space heating or cooking
Symptoms of CO poisoning:
- Flu-like symptoms
- Ringing sensation in the ears
- Blurred vision
- Chest pains
- Light-headedness or dizziness
Call 811 Before You Dig
As part of our commitment to helping to ensure your safety, we’re offering this important information about what you should do before you conduct digging, plowing, drilling, construction or excavating of any kind on your property. Whether you’re planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling your One-Call Center at 811 before you dig! Call 811 a few days before you start digging, and your call will be routed to your local One-Call Center (see details below).
When to Call 811
When you call 811, the natural gas lines on your property will be marked, preventing you from damaging them when you dig. Projects that warrant 811 notification include the installation of:
- Septic tanks and sewer lines
- Swimming pools
- Sprinkler systems and water lines
- Basketball goal posts or mailbox posts
- Fence and deck posts
- Trees and shrubs
Calling 811 in Your State
The national “Call Before You Dig” number is 811, but you can also contact the One-Call Center in your state directly for additional information. Be sure to tell the operator where you’re planning to dig and what type of work you will be doing. Your local utility companies will be notified, and they’ll send a locator to mark the location of your underground lines, pipes and cables.
Here are the phone numbers for South Carolina:
South Carolina 811
811 or 1-888-721-7877
*Call centers generally operate between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. For an emergency excavation, each call center operates 24 hours a day—every day of the year.
Once your lines have been marked, here are some helpful hints to follow:
- Always dig around the locate markers—not on them
- Always “hand dig” within 30 inches on each side of the locate markers. Excavation equipment can cause major damage to underground utilities
- Call 811 each time you begin a new project. Erosion or root structure growth may shift the locations of your utility lines
- Always call 811 if excavating, ditching, trenching, drilling, or blasting are to be done on or adjacent to your property
- Call Lancaster County Natural Gas Authority at (803) 285-2045 if you smell natural gas or suspect a leak! Always call 911 for emergencies.