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



In its normal state, natural gas is odorless. For easy detection, NW Natural injects an odorant called mercaptan into the gas before it is inserted into the distribution system. Mercaptan gives off a foul smell, reminiscent of rotten eggs or sulfur.

Any odor of natural gas inside your home or business may indicate a leak. If you smell rotten eggs or sulfur, leave the area immediately 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. These can spark and create a source of ignition.
  • 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.