Gasoline-Tainted Groundwater Causes Evacuation of Pennsylvania Homes - News - @ JEMS.com


Gasoline-Tainted Groundwater Causes Evacuation of Pennsylvania Homes

Voluntary evacuation of over 150 homes after contaminated water was found in sump pumps

 

 
 
 

KATHY MATHESON, Associated Press | | Monday, July 14, 2014


SKIPPACK, Pa. (AP) — Gasoline-tainted groundwater caused the mysterious smell that led to a voluntary evacuation of more than 150 homes in suburban Philadelphia, authorities said Monday.

The noxious odor primarily affected three townhouses in Skippack after contaminated water got into the sump pumps, officials said. Firefighters were flushing those pumps with fresh water and airing out the homes with fans on Monday evening.

"We're relieved and hopeful that what they're doing will fix it," said resident Kourtnay Loughin, who called 911 about the "very, very unpleasant" smell on Sunday evening.

Officials don't know how the gas got into the groundwater, but Fire Chief Haydn Marriott said residents' health was not in danger. He also noted the substance was found in a system with sealed pipes, creating little chance of contamination to the surrounding area's water supply.

Firefighters and environmental officials used sensors Sunday night to try to identify the problem. Residents of more than 150 townhouses were asked to leave after chemical odors were detected at several units.

Metered equipment originally indicated the presence of hydrogen cyanide, a poisonous gas, in the homes, but officials later said those readings were false positives. No signs of illness were reported.

By Monday morning, Marriott said authorities had determined sump pumps as the source of the smell, but could not identify its composition. As labs began analyzing samples, officials retested some houses and allowed owners to return after finding no danger.

Loughin's unit and the two next door registered high levels of the chemical odor.

"It's more of an annoyance than anything," Marriott said.

Readings in 25 other units Monday found "negligible" levels of chemicals, likely attributable to common household items, he said. The rest of the townhomes had no detectable chemical compounds.

Marriott said his department spoke to the water authority several times Sunday. "They assured us that there was no problem with the water, that they were going to take care of the testing on their end," he said.

Officials plan to monitor the affected homes in the coming days.

___

Follow Kathy Matheson at www.twitter.com/kmatheson

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, hazmat

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

FEBRUARY 25-28, 2015

Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland USA
THE SHOW IS OPEN!

THURSDAY SNOW FLURRIES


 

 

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Advancement

This is the seventh year of the EMS 10 Innovators in EMS program, jointly sponsored by Physio-Control and JEMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Wesleyan Students Hospitalized for Overdose

11 students transported to local hospitals.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver Medic's Family Says Job Stress Contributed to Suicide

Veteran of over 25 years took her own life after a call.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Denver First Responders Join to Remember Paramedic

Veteran medic took her own life after fatal accident.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

22nd Anniversary of WTC Bombing

Remembering the first terror attack.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On March 2015

Here’s a look at this month’s product hands on.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

15 Injured in New Jersey Explosion

Blast captured on dash cam during Stafford Township gas leak.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >