Gasoline Discovered in Decatur Sewer System

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DECATUR – The Sanitary District of Decatur says workers discovered an illegal disposal of gasoline in a neighborhood pump station this past Monday, August 17.

A sanitary district employee discovered an intense odor of gasoline during a routine daily inspection in a pump station that serves the Lakeview and Homewood neighborhoods.

Employees then called the Decatur Fire Department due to the potential explosion risk. The Fire Department restricted access to the area to determine the extent of the contamination and clean up the pump station. Fire Department crews detected dangerous levels of combustible gas on the scene.

Sanitary District officials suspect an individual dumped an unknown quantity of gasoline down a drain. The gas produced vapors, alerting workers to its presence.

Sanitary District Interim Executive Director Kent Newton suspects the person who dumped the gasoline did not know how to properly dispose of it. He also says the individual probably did not know disposing of gasoline in a sewer is illegal.

“The main thing is we need to educate the public and find out who did this,” Newton says.

Newton also says samples from the pump station will be analyzed to determine the exact make-up of the contaminants to narrow down potential sources. He hopes to find the person, so they can repay any of the related cleanup expenses.

The Sanitary District of Decatur asks that any resident with information about the illegal disposal call the office at 217-422-6931.

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