More about the leak
- Interactive Map: Local Underground Storage Tanks
- Leak fuels neighbors' fearss (05-12-06)
- Gasoline may have leaked farther than thought, KDHE says (05-11-06)
- 6News video: Lawsuit filed against gas station owners (05-10-06)
- Presto's underground tanks are removed (05-09-06)
- Fire chief: Leak fix will take awhile (05-06-06)
- Chat with Lawrence Fire Chief Mark Bradford (05-05-06)
- Gas station ordered to remove tanks (05-05-06)
State environmental officials today said they are continuing to clean up the Old West Lawrence neighborhood where fumes from a leaking underground fuel tank caused a house fire last month.
The cleanup effort, which includes installing a trench and an automated groundwater treatment system, will last about a year, according to officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
"With the completion of the initial response, we have now moved into the longer term clean up phase of the project," said Ron Hammerschmidt, director of KDHE's division of environment.
Hammerschmidt said efforts will continue to monitor for fuel vapor and any further underground fuel seepage in the area around the Presto Phillips 66 gasoline station, which had a leak in an underground fuel tank.
The leak was discovered during the investigation of an April 30 apartment house fire at Ninth and Louisiana streets, which was across the street from the station.
Investigators found that a leak in a tank led to fuel migrating underground toward the east into the sewer system.
The fumes from the sewer system came up from the home's basement and caught fire, investigators said.
Hammerschmidt said eight homeowner have received air monitors for use in their basements to detect fuel vapors. Four more will be provided to homeowners on the outskirts of the contaminated area, he said.
Much of the contaminated soil and groundwater has already been removed and no fumes have been detected for some time, he said.
However, the monitors could detect any more seepage caused by any upcoming heavy rains, he said.
The Presto owners are installing new tanks and piping this week, which will include equipment designed to detect any fuel leaks, he said.
Hammerschmidt also said a trench has been completed around the north and east sides of a nearby law office. Water is now being pumped from that trench and hauled away for disposal, he said.
An automated system will be installed next week that will continually remove the water, treat it and discharge it into the sewer system.
That system will likely be in place for a year, maybe longer, said Gary Blackburn, KDHE Bureau of Environmental Remediation director.
KDHE officials also said a recovery well has been installed at the edge of the tank pit to recover any contaminated groundwater that movings into that area as the result of the previous leak.
Also, 25 monitoring wells have been installed in the area around the leak, they said.
And observation tubes will be installed in the tank pit area to detect any contamination, theys said.