TEXAS, Update...W. Tawakoni Continues Hauling in Water After Spill...

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Title: West Tawakoni continues hauling in water after spill

Levels of gas additive have decreased, officials say


By Brenda Rodriguez / The Dallas Morning News

The lake shore city of West Tawakoni continued to truck in thousands of gallons of water Wednesday after detection of contamination from a gasoline spill last week.

The city shut down its intake from Lake Tawakoni last week after authorities detected the gasoline additive methyl tertiary butyl ether, known as MTBE, in the northwestern parts of the lake. On Wednesday, authorities said levels of MTBE, which has been found to reduce polluting emissions, had decreased.

The contamination followed a half-million-gallon gasoline spill March 10 at a wheat field and East Caddo Creek near the lake.

"We are still hauling water in by transport," said Dick Gillespie, city administrator. "Still pumping it into the system."

Mr. Gillespie said the city is going to use a special filtration system. They will test the system first, and if the water shows no trace of MTBE, then the city will re-open the intake, he said.

Explorer Pipeline of Tulsa, Okla., which owns and operates the pipeline that broke, supplied the city with the filtration system.

The Sabine River Authority, which owns and operates the lake, has said no permanent damage is expected at the lake, which provides water for more than 10 cities, towns and water companies, including Dallas.

Dallas, which gets 25 percent to 30 percent of its water from the lake, closed its intake shortly after the gas spill.

On Monday, the Clinton administration announced that it will seek to ban MTBE as a gasoline additive on grounds it poses a risk to public health and the environment. Officials said the chemical is a possible carcinogen.



-- (Dee360Degree@aol.com), March 23, 2000

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