Research shows thousands of gas leaks under D.C. streets

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Researchers from Duke and Boston universities drove the streets of D.C. last January and February and found a mind boggling 5,893 gas leaks beneath D.C. streets.

A dozen of the leaks were filling manholes with methane gas ten times greater than the thresholds at which explosions occur. Researchers say they put Washington Gas on notice of the leaks and then returned six months later to find if the leaks persisted. They found only two had been repaired - O Street Northeast near North Capitol Street and 5028 41st Street NW.

Washington Gas tells ABC7 that it maintains rigorous inspections.

"With over 13,000 miles of distribution mains and more than 940,000 service lines in our system, it is not realistic to state that there are no leaks."

Benjamin Holzinger hopes Washington Gas acts soon to rid the system of potential dangers.

“I don’t know what it will take to upgrade the infrastructure, but probably a lot. But I hope they do it.”