SaskEnergy warning of possible gas leaks due to temperature swings

SaskEnergy is warning the public about the potential for underground gas leaks due to the changing weather conditions.

Intense cold, depth of frost and then sudden warming could create problems

File photo shows SaskPower crews responding to a natural gas leak. SaskEnergy advises people and businesses to contact them immediately at if an odour is detected, warning a recent swing in temperature could lead to gas leaks. (Alex Soloducha/CBC News)

Stretches of extreme cold followed by days where the temperature hovers around or above the freezing mark could create problems for the province's natural gas lines.

"This year, due to the intense cold and the depth of the frost layer, followed by sudden warming, SaskEnergy is alerting customers that conditions are favourable for a leak to occur," the Crown corporation said in a news release Thursday.

SaskEnergy advises people and businesses to contact them immediately at 1-888-700-0427 if an odour is detected. 

Earlier this month, a leak knocked out service to thousands of customers in the Melfort area. 

If a leak is reported, workers will be dispatched to investigate, SaskEnergy says, and repairs will be made if a leak is found. The best way to detect a leak is the smell, as an additive in the product makes it smell pretty foul.

Repairs typically take a couple of hours, during which time the gas will be shut off.

Extreme cold blanketed the province around the end of 2017 and at the beginning of the new year, with average lows lingering down around –30 C. 

Now temperatures in the province are nearing the freezing mark — or above freezing, in some areas.

The temperature in Regina on Thursday morning sat at –5 C while 67 kilometres west in Moose Jaw, the temperature sat at 5 C above freezing.