INDIANA - Malfunction That Leaked Fuel Into City Sewers is Cleaned Up : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Title: Fuel oil leak that spilled into city sewers is cleaned up

The Indianapolis StarBy Kim L. Hooper

MARTINSVILLE, Ind. (March 22, 2000) -- Martinsville firefighters worked for more than five hours Tuesday to contain an early-morning fuel oil leak that originated at a senior citizens residential center and spilled into city storm sewers.

Administrators at Kennedy Living Center, 301 W. Harrison St., reported the spill at 12:20 a.m.

The source of the leak was a 750-gallon in-ground diesel fuel tank, which supplies a smaller holding tank and powers the senior residential center's emergency generators.

"It was just a malfunction. Something that happened within the pump," said Kennedy Center Administrator David Watkins.

None of the center's 117 residents or those senior citizens who live at the adjacent Ken-Mar Apartments had to be evacuated.

Martinsville Fire Chief Timothy W. Fraker said the diesel fuel spilled from the holding tank and dumped fuel into a nearby sump pit that pumped the fuel toward sewers.

Fraker estimated that 25 to 50 gallons of fuel were lost, adding there was little concern a spark in the sump pit might cause an explosion or a fire.

"It was a small spill that did get into a storm ditch," he said.

The city's storm and sanitary sewer lines, after undergoing wastewater treatment, discharge into White River.

However, Mayor Shannon L. Buskirk said in an interview with Martinsville radio station WCBK that the treatment plant had several hours of warning and the facility was able to take precautions.

Buskirk praised Kennedy Center administrators for issuing the early warning.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management and Department of Natural Resources were notified about the spill, as was the Environmental Protection Agency, the mayor said.

The city Fire Department's hazardous materials unit contained the spill within six blocks of the senior citizen center, Fraker said.

Sponges, called "pigs," and dikes were used to block and absorb the fuel oil, which floats on the water's surface.

Kennedy Center administrators paid a private environmental clean-up company, Spill Recovery of Indiana, to remove the fuel from the sewer lines.

Watkins said Spill Recovery "soaked up" 500 gallons of water that contained about 20-gallons of diesel oil.

"They're confident they got every drop," Fraker said.

) 2000 Indiana Newspapers Inc. AP materials ) 2000 Associated Press.

-- (, March 21, 2000

Moderation questions? read the FAQ