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Portesuello Ave. Natural Gas Leak

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by Hank Homberg - SANTA BARBARA, CA –  9/13/2010 – At 9:55AM. Engines 5, 1 and 6 along with Truck 1 and a Battalion Chief responded to Crestline Drive and Portesuello Ave. 

Upon arrival of Engine 5’s crew, it was determined that a 1 inch residential feeder line had been severed by a fiber optic communications company which was doing some excavation work.  

Engine 5 cancelled the remainder of the initial assignment and cleared the work area.

Due to the location of the natural gas leak and the breezy conditions on the top of the hill side, Captain Frac Chacon had residents in the immediate area close all windows and “shelter in place” until the Southern California Gas Company could shut down 1 inch distribution line. 

Natural gas is lighter than atmospheric air and will usually dissipate when conditions are favorable. The natural gas utility companies inject “mercaptan” into the odorless and colorless gas, which gives a “rotten egg” smell when there a natural gas leak.

Interstate transmission lines carrying natural gas can be pressurized up to 1500 p.s.i. When the natural gas arrives at neighborhood distribution networks, pressure is usally below 5 p.s.i. and as low a ¼ p.s.i. at your house service meter.

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department urges anyone doing significant digging to “call before you dig”. The number to call is 800-227-2600, Underground Service Alert will come out and mark underground utility locations at no charge to homeowners, excavators, and professional contractors.


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