January 1, 2009

Sewer gas is winter hazard

Sewer gas is winter hazard

The recent extended cold snap is cause for concern – even to those who remain in their homes and don’t venture outdoors. Even if people feel warm, cozy and safe, they may not be.

This past week, as temperatures remained well below zero and the wind caused temperatures to feel even colder, North Dakota residents were given a reminder of the true meaning of the word frigid.

Late last week, numerous area residents had first-hand knowledge of another winter hazard – sewer vents that became blocked by an accumulation of snow and ice.

Area residents are reminded to be aware of the hazard. The following information is provided online by George Maher, farm safety specialist with the NDSU Extension Service. When the mercury plunges to the below-zero range and stays there for days at a time, sewer gas can become a serious threat.

"Sewer gas, not only smells bad, it’s explosive and poisonous," says Maher. "There are some steps you can take to temporarily deal with the problem. However, permanently fixing the problem may be better left to the warmer times of the year, unless it can be done from indoors."

The Weather Network