Kettering residents upset about gas leaks near their homes

Published: Wednesday, August 14, 2019 @ 12:00 AM

Harwood Avenue residents say there have been four gas leaks in two years on their street and they are worried about their safety.

Harwood Avenue residents say there have been four gas leaks in two years on their street and they are worried about their safety.

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The issue has been a consistent problem, according to Lisa Leiter, who lives in the 3000 block of Harwood. She said residents have been concerned about Vectren’s inability to fix the issue.

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“We are really frustrated with the gas leak problems,” an emotional Leiter told this news organization. “We are getting tired of dealing with the leaks and want something done about it.”

Vectren officials confirmed that their operations team is addressing the issue. Premier Energy Services opened an office in the Dayton area in 2014 to provide construction and maintenance services for Vectren. The company still provides those services, but moved its headquarters in 2017 to Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Alyssia Oshodi, spokeswoman for Vectren, said the company has initiated a pipeline replacement project this week that should take care of the problem.

“The work we are doing on Harwood is actually a routine pipleline replacement project,” she said. “It is being done through routine maintenance in the neighborhood and started this week and should be wrapped up next week.”

A Kettering spokeswoman said the city is aware of some recent action by Vectren and its contractor to address the problem.

“Waker Plumbing pulled a permit (on Monday) to replace a gas main to repair leaks in the vicinity of Harwood Street,” she said.

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Steve Waker of Waker Plumbing confirmed that his company has been contracted to repair the leaks and will be out in the neighborhood as soon as possible.

“We have been out there to mark off where we will be doing the repairs,” he said, adding that his company will work with Vectren and Premier to make sure that the problems are fixed correctly.

When hearing the news that Waker Plumbing will be out to fix the gas leaks in her neighborhood, Leiter said she was cautiously optimistic.

“Are we supposed to be smelling gas? No!” Leiter told WHIO’s Jenna Lawson, who was in the neighborhood to report on the leaks. “So just standing here I can smell the hints through the air. Standing by our driveway, it’s really stronger. We all just want this road cleaned up and no smell of gas.”