Four private water wells contaminated from gasoline spill in Washington County

CREATED Jul 27, 2012

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JACKSON- New health concerns in Washington County from a massive gasoline leak in the Town of Jackson.

A dangerous chemical found in the water supply is forcing people from their homes.

What started as a small problem now involves dozens of homes.

West Shore Pipe Line Company crews are working around the clock to test private wells for chemical traces of the chemical benzene.

Pat Dano's home sits about a quarter of a mile from the site of a massive gas leak in the Town of Jackson.  One that's contaminated at least four private water wells with high levels of the chemical benzene.

Friday, the West Shore Pipe Line Co. officials tested Dano's well, at her request.
"They said if there was a concern, you would be notified right away and if there's nothing to be worried about, give it a few days and you'll still get a report," said Dano.
But the DNR has ordered the pipe line company to test the private wells of the entire subdivision, southwest of the pipeline break in the 1800 block of Western Ave, more than doubling the homes now at risk.
"We were unable to determine whether the static ground water, the plume of contamination is moving in one direction or another because of the fractures in the bedrock," said Scott Ferguson, spills coordinator for the state Department of Natural Resources in Milwaukee

43 water wells will now be monitored.  The news quickly became the talk of the neighborhood as homeowners wait for more information, wondering if their water is safe.

Nearly 55,000 gallons of gas seeped into the ground last week.

Dano plans on using bottled water as she waits.  But she worries about the time that's already passed.
"Well now it's like this happened on the 17th, why did it wait that long for them to test us being that we are so close," wondered Dano.

As of Friday evening, most of the residents in the subdivision hadn't been notified of the testing, expected to start Saturday.

There will be a public hearing on the spill next Tuesday at 7 p.m.