Foul odor concerns residents in Brandermill, Woodlake

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – A malfunctioning pump is to blame for a rotten egg smell in western Chesterfield.

Columbia Gas of Virginia says an oderizer pump sprang a leak Saturday morning causing the natural gas additive, Mercaptan to seep into the community.

The leak lead to numerous complaint calls from residents fearing a gas leak.

Columbia Gas says Mercaptan is a harmless, non-toxic chemical but in a concentrated form, the smell is almost unbearable.

The additive is so powerful it takes only a few parts per million to give natural gas a smell.

The odor will dissipate harmlessly into the atmosphere during the day.

Columbia Gas says technicians have already begun repairs on the pump.

Copyright 2010 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.