HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) — National Fuel has begun turning gas service back on in the Southtowns, as the service was temporarily shut down Saturday, following an issue with mercaptan — the rotten eggs odor added to natural gas to ease detection of a leak.

At 8:30 a.m. Sunday, National Fuel put out the following statement:

National Fuel has additional crews in the Southtowns neighborhoods (Hamburg, Orchard Park, Evans, Derby) impacted by yesterday’s odorant issues to complete all gas service turn-ons. Field service representatives are knocking on doors, as we do need home access to safety relight the gas service. Customers without gas service, as a result of yesterday’s issue, can also contact National Fuel at 1.800.444.3130 and a representative will be sent out as soon as possible. We appreciate the inconvenience this has caused and thank our customers for their continued patience.”

National Fuel

Following customer calls overnight and early Saturday morning reporting an odor of gas, National Fuel crews investigated the odor and identified the issue. According to a National Fuel representative, it was discovered around 9 a.m. Saturday that odorant pumps from a nearby compressor station were pumping twice the typical level of mercaptan into the gas system.

The system was reportedly adjusted and odor levels began to stabilize.

“While odorant levels are beginning to stabilize it will take some time before the excess odor is removed from the system and surrounding communities,” National Fuel said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “For the safety of our customers, gas service has been and will continue to be turned off to ensure that there are no immediate issues.”

The company reported that additional crews were brought in to manage the influx of customer calls.

National Fuel thanked its customers for assistance in reporting the smell and apologized for the inconvenience. The company also requested that anyone who smells the mercaptan odor in or around their homes report it to National Fuel so a field service representative can come monitor the situation.

Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.