Water from gas production spills into Mamm Creek
A truck hauling 6,750 gallons of water produced from EnCana natural gas wells in Hunter Mesa overturned at the intersection of County Roads 322 and 315 (Mamm Creek Road) Sunday.According to EnCana spokesman Doug Hock, the driver of a tractor-trailer owned by Arnett Trucking Co. lost control about 1:30 p.m. while ascending a hill. The tractor remained upright but the trailer rolled and spilled its contents into Mamm Creek. There were no injuries.The water was highly saline but did not appear to contain toxic petroleum byproducts, Hock said.The spill was reported to the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which required EnCana to test the water in Mamm Creek and take soil samples, said COGCC hearings manager Tricia Beaver.”We will review (the test results) and require a remediation plan,” she said. Beaver also spoke with the commission’s northwest area engineer, Jaime Adkins, who visited the site in Parachute Tuesday and said he saw nothing unusual in the creek at that time. EnCana has hired Cordilleran Compliance Services of Grand Junction to conduct the testing, he said.Results should be available in the next few days, Hock said.Sunday, EnCana health, environmental and safety managers who were on the scene saw no evidence of petroleum products in the water of Mamm Creek, Hock said.”The main thing they were looking for was a sheen (on the water) that would indicate hydrocarbons or petroleum,” he said. “They didn’t see any sign.”The water in the trailer had been processed at the well sites to separate it from petroleum byproducts, Hock said.”The main concern (with the water) is salinity. I think the good news is because of the high snowpack right now the water diluted fairly quickly in the stream,” he said. “We want to take the precaution of getting water samples to make sure nothing else is in water.”Hock said there was no indication of any impacts to fish in Mamm Creek. Cleanup efforts on Sunday were concerned with righting the trailer and getting it out of the creek, he said.Mamm Creek empties into the Colorado River just south and east of Rifle and upstream of Rifle’s municipal water intake.Contact Donna Gray: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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