PUGET SOUND, Wash., Aug. 15 (UPI) -- The gas bill of some Washington residents stinks -- literally -- making the gas company happy, because that's what they say they intended as a safety reminder.
When Puget Sound Energy sent out their August bills to more than 1.5 million homes, they included a scratch-and-sniff pamphlet with a sample of the odorant they use in natural gas to help identify leaks, a company release said.
One scratch on the pamphlet and the resident will get a sulfur-like whiff of something akin to rotten eggs, which is the odorant mercaptan added to the odorless and colorless natural gas.
"We're distributing the pamphlet to make sure that our customers are familiar with the odor so they can recognize it and take safety precautions if there ever is a natural gas leak around their home or elsewhere," said Martha Monfried, director of corporate communications.
Residents should be on the lookout for gas leaks both inside and outside homes, she said.
"Smell isn't the only way to detect a natural gas leak," Monfried added. "A hissing sound or blowing dirt may also indicate a possible natural gas leak. That's why we encourage everyone to call 811 before digging."