The City of Duluth has announced that they will be purging natural gas from a pipe segment at Garfield Avenue and I-35 in Duluth on Monday, July 20.

Therefore, those in the area should not be alarmed if they notice a natural gas smell as this is a controlled release of natural gas into the air by Utility Operations.

The planned purging should occur late Monday morning before noon, and last about two hours.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration:

Natural gas is a fossil energy source that formed deep beneath the earth's surface. Natural gas contains many different compounds. The largest component of natural gas is methane, a compound with one carbon atom and four hydrogen atoms (CH4). Natural gas also contains smaller amounts of natural gas liquids (NGL, which are also hydrocarbon gas liquids), and nonhydrocarbon gases, such as carbon dioxide and water vapor. We use natural gas as a fuel and to make materials and chemicals.

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Natural gas emits a sulfur, rotten-egg or garlic-like smell and a leak may also be accompanied by a hissing sound.  Natural gas leaks have the potential to be dangerous.

Exposure to high levels of natural gas can cause:

  • Death by suffocation.
  • Loss of consciousness.
  • Nausea.
  • Severe headaches.
  • Fatigue.
  • Memory problems.
  • Lack of coordination.

While Monday's project is a controlled situation with the City of Duluth and is not cause for alarm, if under any other circumstances you ever suspect that natural gas may be leaking unintentionally from the ground or a pipeline, please immediately contact the City of Duluth’s natural gas emergency hotline at 218-730-4100.