Excess Flow Valves (EFV) Notification

Austin Utilities is required to notify all natural gas customers about any changes related to excess flow valves. CLICK HERE to read the required notification.

What is Natural Gas

Natural gas is a highly combustible fossil fuel primarily composed of methane, along with various other hydrocarbons. Natural gas is invisible, odorless, tasteless, colorless, non-toxic, non-poisonous, and is lighter than air. Natural Gas can displace the oxygen in an enclosed spaced possibly causing suffocation. Austin Utilities adds a chemical called mercaptan to give it a rotten-egg scent to assist in detecting leaks, even in small quantities.

Natural Gas Leaks

While natural gas leaks are unusual, you need to be able to identify them should they occur. Your sense of smell, sight, and hearing can all be used to detect a gas leak.


  • Sulfur or rotten egg type odor


  • Dead or brown vegetation in lawns or boulevards
  • Dirt blowing up into the air
  • Water bubbling in wet areas
  • Fire and/or explosion near known gas pipeline areas


  • Hissing, blowing or roaring type sounds

What should I do?

Call Austin Utilities at 1-507-433-8886 and a trained Gas Service Technician will be dispatched and will take the appropriate steps to monitor the leak and shut down any equipment or valves necessary to control the leak. This service is FREE of charge, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

  • Do nit light a flame
  • Do not operate any type of electrical device or source of ignition. This includes phones, cell phones, light switches, etc.
  • Do not attempt to make repairs or extinguish a fire
  • Leave the area immediately when requested
  • Call 911 if necessary

Meter Safety

Austin Utilities would like to remind all natural gas customers of the importance of removing snow and ice from around their gas meter. Accumulations of snow and ice can cause serious damage to the gas meter and could result in temporary loss of natural gas supply to a customers home or business.

Additionally, removal of snow and ice along with keeping foliage trimmed allows meter readers the ability to accurately and efficiently read each meter.

Infographic on winter gas meter safety

Protect Your Gas Meter Set

It is important to protect your gas meter set to prevent any accidental gas leaks.

Summer Months

  • Mowing
  • Trimming
  • Digging around the gas meter
  • Don't pile things on or against the meter (hose, bike, garden tools, etc.)

Snow and ice buildup can cause a potential dangerous situation. Snow and ice blocking the meter set regulator can cause malfunctions including release of gas and/or the shutdown of gas flow into your home or business. Ice falling from the roof can damage the Gas Meter Set potentially causing a leak.

Winter Months

  • Snow build up
  • Ice covering the gas meter
  • Snow removal (snow plows, snow blowers, ice chunks, rocks)
  • Ice buildup on roof line above gas meter
Gas meter surrounded by snow

Buried Gas Pipe

*********Austin Utilities Special Notice*********

In compliance with the Code of Federal Regulation #49, Part 192.16, Austin Utilities must notify each customer who owns buried natural gas piping after the meter.

- Notification as follows-

  1. Austin Utilities does not maintain the customer’s buried piping.
  2. If the customer’s buried piping is not maintained, it may be subject to the potential hazards of corrosion and leakage.
  3. Buried gas piping should be –
    1. periodically inspected for leaks
    2. periodically inspected for corrosion if the piping is metallic
    3. repaired if any unsafe condition is discovered.
  4. When excavating near buried gas piping, the piping should be located in advance, and the excavation done by hand.
  5. Austin Utilities, plumbing contractors, and heating contractors can assist in locating, inspecting, and repairing the customer’s buried piping.

Customers with buried natural gas piping should feel free to contact Austin Utilities at 433-8886 or at our web address www.austinutilities.com for further assistance.