Groundwater contaminated by leak


Williams natural gas processing plant north of Parachute

Latest update:  Parachute Creek spill continues uncontained; cause, source unknown
“… An undetermined amount of material remains in the ground. The size of the plume was estimated at 200 feet long, 170 feet wide and 14 feet deep …

According to an article in today’s Grand Junction Sentinel:
Leak at Parachute pipeline nears 2,400 gallons by Dennis Webb

Todd Hartman, Communications Director for the CO Department of Natural Resources, said about 57 barrels (2,394 gallons) of an unidentified liquid produced during natural gas development had been recovered from an underground leak as of 6:00 a.m. Sunday (3/17) – “up from 37 barrels Friday.” The underground plume of liquid which has been “described as a hydrocarbon lighter than oil” was discovered on March 13.

The leak is located 4 miles north of Parachute “on a pipeline right of way on WPX Energy property that’s also home to a natural gas processing plant owned by Williams. Williams first discovered a problem when it detected soil contamination March 8.”

Twenty-one barrels of an “emulsified hydrocarbon/water mix” were recovered from the site.  So far 846 barrels of contaminated groundwater were also removed.

“Clearly there continues to be a lot of groundwater that’s been impacted by the hydrocarbons,” Hartman said.

Hartman said he couldn’t confirm claims from Williams and WPX that the rate of flow is diminishing “quite a bit.” He also said “there is no indication of any impact to nearby Parachute Creek.”

No cause has been determined. “Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and Department of Public Health and Environment staff have been involved in the cleanup effort.” Colorado Parks and Wildlife officials have also been on site.

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