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'You Would Think You Were At Old Faithful': Bubbling Gas Leaks Causing Concern In Sarver

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SARVER, Pa. (KDKA) -- People in Butler County are worried their entire neighborhood is at risk because natural gas is bubbling out of the ground in several locations.

They say they've been trying to get some help, but the problem continues.

Scattered along the hillside behind Martin Road in Sarver are gas leaks. They bubble up, have a strong odor of gas and they have people who live nearby afraid for their homes and their own well-being.

"If you go down there right now the gas will be bubbling up. You would think you were at Old Faithful or something like that. Yellowstone Park or something like that," said Tom Rombach, of Sarver.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

The problem isn't new, but people living in the neighborhood say it seems to be getting worse. The smell can be overwhelming, and there's a growing fear the situation could turn into long term health issues.

"I don't know from a health standpoint," said Rombach. "My bedroom window is right there, but I have to keep it shut 'cause otherwise you're breathing gas fumes all day.

"On a windy day, it's not as bad, but on a real warm, stagnant day, it's terrible," he added.

A spokesperson for Peoples Gas told KDKA:
"The company did respond to a customer service call on Thompson Road in February and they did repair some leaks. There have been a lot of ground subsidence in the past few months and land subsidence, which could be contributing factors."

But the homeowners see it differently.

"That's not true. Quite frankly, I've been living here for over 20 years and there are no landslides. There's total vegetation down there. Land doesn't slide around trees," Rombach said.

There is also a concern about what the gas leaks, over time, will do to property values. Homeowners say they are really hoping to get some long-term relief.

"What I'd like them to do is fix this before someone is smoking a cigarette down there and we all go up," Rombach said.

In a call late Tuesday, Peoples Gas told KDKA that they were going to have crews come to the area, check out the complaint, and if necessary, they would do the repairs.

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