Learn what to do if you detect a rotten egg or sulfur odor.



In its normal state, clean-burning natural gas is colorless and odorless. For easy detection, NW Natural adds an odorant called mercaptan to the gas before it's inserted into our distribution system. Mercaptan gives off a foul smell, reminiscent of rotten eggs or sulfur.

Any odor of natural gas may indicate a leak. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, immediately leave the area and call NW Natural's 24-hour emergency line at 800-882-3377. We'll come over and check things out.

Just remember: Smell. Go. Let us Know.®

  • Do not use your telephone. This includes cellular phones and all types of portable communication and electronic devices that have a battery. 
  • Do not light matches or create any other source of ignition.
  • Do not operate any electrical switch, including lights, on or off. This could create a spark.
  • Evacuate everyone from the area.
  • Call NW Natural (from a phone NOT INSIDE the building with the leak) at 800-882-3377.

Turn off your gas ONLY if you hear natural gas leaking inside or outside. Once the gas is off, leave it off. Follow these steps to turn off your gas valve located on the houseline connected to your meter.

If the leaking gas ignites, do not attempt to put out the flames. Call the Fire Department and then NW Natural.