How can you recognize a pipeline leak?

Sight, sound, and smell are helpful in detecting pipeline leaks.


Look for:

  • Crude oil or liquid petroleum products on the ground
  • A dense white cloud or fog
  • A spot of dead vegetation in an otherwise green location (may indicate a slow leak)
  • Flames (if the leak has ignited), do not attempt to extinguish any primary fire source until pipeline company employees arrive and their representative directs this action.


Listen for:

  • A roaring sound
  • A hissing sound


Smell for:

  • A pungent odor, sometimes like "rotten eggs"
  • A gasoline-like odor

Show All Answers

1. How can you tell where a pipeline is located?
2. Can I move a pipeline marker sign?
3. Are markers always placed on top of the pipeline?
4. How can you recognize a pipeline leak?
5. What should I do if you suspect a leak: