Harting Sales and Service, Inc

South Dakota Ag News Headlines
South Dakota PUC: Keep Natural Gas Meters Clear of Snow and Ice
South Dakota Ag Connection - 03/17/2023

The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission urges consumers to clear their natural gas meters and appliance vents of snow and ice. In recent weeks, two home explosions occurred in South Dakota due to snow accumulation on gas meters. While no one was seriously injured in either event, both homes were destroyed.

“Regularly checking to ensure snow and ice haven’t built up on your meter is a must during the colder months,” said PUC Chairperson Kristie Fiegen. “It is an essential step that helps ensure you, your home and your family remain warm and safe throughout our long South Dakota winters,” she continued.

When removing heavy accumulations of snow or ice on and around your gas meter, be careful not to cause any damage. Use a broom, a snow brush or your hands to lightly remove snow and ice that is capable of being removed. Do not kick the meter to break or clear ice or strike meters with snow blowers, blades or shovels. For extremely heavy ice buildup that cannot be removed as recommended, contact your natural gas provider.

“While gas meters are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, they still need to be treated with care and protected from ice and snow buildup to continue working properly. The accumulation of frozen precipitation on the meter can cause the regulator and meter to malfunction, can cause damage that may lead to a natural gas leak and unfortunately, have led to two homes in the state exploding,” PUC Vice Chairman Gary Hanson explained.

While a strong gaseous odor is the most widely known sign of a gas leak, there are a few other warning signs you should look out for. Seeing a dense fog, mist or white cloud, and hearing hissing, whistling or roaring noises coming from the meter should be red flags of a potentially hazardous situation. If you witness any of these, your next step should be to leave the building and area, then call for help.

“If there is one thing to remember when it comes to natural gas safety, let ‘Smell Gas? Leave Fast’ be the piece that sticks with you. If you believe damage has occurred around the meter or smell gas, get out of the house, go somewhere safe and call your gas provider immediately,” Commissioner Chris Nelson directed.

Protecting your natural gas meter is important. Excessive snow cover may result in abnormal pressure, affect appliance operation and interrupt your service. It is also important in the event of an emergency when emergency response crews may need clear access to your meter.

You can also protect your meters by removing overhead icicles and snow from eaves and gutters to ensure they do not cause damage as they fall. The dripping water can splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipes, which could affect proper operation.

See more tips about natural gas safety on the PUC website at puc.sd.gov/consumer/ngmetersafety.aspx.

Other South Dakota Headlines
Riverside Plastic Inc./RSI Calf Hutches
Copyright © 2023 - Farms.com. All Rights Reserved.