Recognizing a leak


Because of Enbridge's thorough maintenance, testing, monitoring, training and safety programs, a leak from a pipeline or facility is unlikely. In the unlikely event of a pipeline leak, one or any combination of the items listed below, on or near the right-of-way, can typically help you recognize a leak.

Please call the toll-free, 24-hour Enbridge emergency number in your area, or an emergency number that you see on a pipeline marker, if you believe a pipeline leak is in progress.

You might see:

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  • a moist patch or pool of black liquid . . . it may be crude oil
  • a moist patch or pool of light brown or yellow liquid . . . it may be synthetic crude or condensate
  • a steam-like cloud, or a frost-like appearance on the ground . . . it may be a natural gas liquid
  • water bubbling or being blown into the air; continuous bubbling in wet or flooded areas
  • oily sheen on water surfaces . . . it may be crude oil
  • dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise green area
  • dirt being blown or appearing to be thrown into the air
  • a white vapor stream or mist-like cloud over the pipeline
  • unexpected frost or ice on the ground
  • discolored snow or vegetation
  • a dry area in a wet field . . . it may be natural gas
  • fire or flames coming from the ground or appearing to burn above ground a cloud of steam or mist caused by condensation and freezing moisture . . . it might be a natural gas liquid
  • ice buildup on exposed pipe, and frozen ground around an underground pipe . . . it might be a natural gas liquid
  • yellow-stained snow . . . it might be an indication of a natural gas liquid accumulating under the snow

You might hear:

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  • an unusual hissing, blowing, or roaring noise coming from the pipeline right-of-way, or a connecting facility . . . it could be a pipeline leak

You might smell:

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  • an odor similar to gasoline or diesel fuel . . . it may be a refined oil product
  • an odor similar to gasoline, but much stronger and less pleasant . . . it may be a natural gas liquid
  • a slight petroleum or hydrocarbon smell
  • an unusual sulfur or rotten egg odor. Sour gas smells like rotten eggs. In some instances, exposure to sour gas can diminish a person’s sense of smell, so it’s important to know that smell cannot always be trusted to warn of sour gas