Diesel found in well water located on R+L property near March spill

By Gary Huffenberger - [email protected]



Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Diesel fuel was found in the water of a well located on R+L property, according to water testing.

As previously reported, tests conducted on water samples from three other wells in the vicinity of the R+L diesel fuel spill in March indicated no diesel was present.

At Monday’s Clinton County Board of Health meeting, Clinton County Environmental Health Director Matt Johannes acknowledged he was not expecting the test to come back and show the presence of diesel in the water, but neither was he overly surprised.

That’s because of the location of this well — it’s the well nearest the spill source.

If any well would have diesel in its water from the spill, “that would be the well,” said Johannes.

This well is near the drainage tile outlet that carried the spilled diesel to Dutch Creek, he said.

This well on R+L property was utilized for water by a tenant of a rental house, according to the environmental health director.

To take care of the well water issue there, they’re looking at either bailing or treating it, added Johannes.

Petroleum can be treated with reverse osmosis, he said. The bailing technique, meanwhile, is similar to how the petroleum was removed from the creek during the cleanup efforts, by removing the water that had petroleum product in it.

The bailing procedure uses a special tool to capture and scoop out unwanted material, which Johannes described as suctioning water out.

“After they’ve done what they need to do, we’ll re-sample [the water in that well],” he reported to board of health members.

The three other wells previously tested, where the water test results came back OK, will be retested, he said, which was going to happen anyway. An additional well will get tested, too.

These four wells were to have their water tested later in the day Monday. Results from one batch of prior water samples took 11 days.

Residents who have those four wells are not reporting any taste, smell, or sheen issues in their wells, said Johannes.

The early March spill of an estimated 23,000 gallons of diesel fuel originated at R+L Carriers property at 600 Gillam Road, Liberty Township, in northern Clinton County.

At a March 8 news conference, a U.S. EPA official said the diesel fuel escaped from an R+L 1-million gallon above-ground storage tank after workers failed to secure some bolts after cleaning and then refilling the tank.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/04/web1_matt_c.jpgJohannes Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

[email protected]