"I smell gas" is one of the last sentences anyone wants to hear. I've called a utility company on more than one occasion when I thought there may be a leak. An entirely different type of leak happened recently at a Catskill fuel station: gasoline.

Drips from Above

A customer took to Facebook to share her ordeal. She reported stopping at the station to fill up her tank when she felt liquid dripping on her head:

As I was pumping gas, big droplets fell onto my head and in front of me. I figured it was snow melt but strange because I was... under the roof that covers the pumps... I kept pumping and more fell. It smelled like gasoline. I stopped pumping and got into my car. I REEKED.

She went on to say that she believed her hair, clothing, and boots had all been dripped on from a gasoline leak somewhere on her pump. She also made a startling claim that she had made contact with several other people who not only said that they had experienced a similar leak at the same pump, but that they told the owner about the problem to no avail. Comments on her Facebook post appeared to back up her claim, with one person saying "Wow that's crazy... I had same problem last week". Another Facebook user elaborated even further, saying that they believed the issue had been going on for well over a year.

Authorities confirmed pump five of the Valero station in Catskill was shut down until repairs were made (Google Maps)
Authorities confirmed pump five of the Valero station in Catskill was shut down until repairs were made (Google Maps)

What You Should Do

From all the frustrated comments, it became clear that while many people wanted to make sure the issue was fixed, many were unsure how to make their voices heard.  "Would definitely let the fire department check it out", said one commenter, while several others suggested contacting the police. An official police report may come in handy for such a potentially dangerous situation, but the hero of this story comes from a different and surprising place.

Weights and Measures to the Rescue

Luckily, the author of the post knew something that many did not: that the Weights and Measures department of local governments has authority over gas pumps. Lance Fischer of Greene County Weights & Measures confirmed that the hose on pump five of the gas station was leaking, and was shut down for repairs. Fischer also elaborated on what you should do if you find yourself in a similar situation:

Station manager would be the first response, they should immediately go look at the situation. We as Weights and Measures should be connected, there will always be a weights and measures sticker on any fuel dispenser in [New York State}], contact info is always on them. We as Weights and Measures have the jurisdiction to shut a dispenser or station down.

Patrons may be counting themselves lucky. With such a flammable material as gasoline, the worst effects reported of the pump leak so far have thankfully just been soiled clothing. But if you ever believe there is a critical issue at a gas pump, Weights & Measures should be one of your first calls.

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