RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — If you went outside in the Fan Tuesday night and smelled something akin to gas, the Richmond Department of Public Utilities (DPU) says there’s nothing to worry about.

The DPU says sewer rehabilitation work using styrene is being performed in the Fan area. According to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), styrene is a colorless liquid that evaporates easily and smells sweet, although large quantities can take on a more unpleasant odor.

The liquid is often used to make styrofoam, disposable utensils, and plastic dishware and is commonly used to reline sewer pipes.

“If sewers are being relined with polystyrene, the styrene vapors may enter your home until the polymer has completely cured,” the VDH said.

The Richmond DPU said styrene is often mistaken for gas leaks. It expects the odor to be short-term and should dissipate as the sewer mains are cured.

If you think you smell a natural gas leak, the DPU says to leave the area immediately and call 911.