Thankfully I don’t live on the Northwest side of Fort Collins or the Laporte area right now. According to The Coloradoan, Xcel Energy workers are installing 11-miles of new pipes and some residents are complaining about smelling a nasty “funk” from their basements.

Xcel workers are installing 11 miles of new pipes in northwest Fort Collins and the LaPorte area. But new steel pipes tend to absorb the special chemical Xcel adds to gas to make it smell bad. So workers have been putting in more of that chemical, methyl mercaptan, than normal. That means even a tiny bit of natural gas can smell like a serious leak.

So, if you are smelling that nasty stench from your basement, it’s probably nothing to worry about. But Xcel says they take a “better safe than sorry” approach to gas leaks and will come out and inspect every one who is worried there might be some sort of gas leak in their house.

I can imagine that has to be pretty scary to recognize that smell in your house. I think we’ve all been trained that smelling a gas leak translates to “get of your home, now!”

From Poudre Fire Authority:

PFA, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority and Windsor Severance Fire Rescue are experiencing large volume of ‘natural gas leak’ calls. The problem seems to stem from Xcel Energy injecting too much Mercaptan into their system. The affected area is south of Horsetooth Road and east of Shields St. We encourage customers to air out a building before calling 911. If the problem still exists please call 911.

Picture by Brianfit, Flickr.