Parachute Creek spill: Day 98

The area of the underground hydrocarbon plume is outlined in yellow. This map is dated April 30, 2013

The area of the underground hydrocarbon plume is outlined in yellow. This map is dated April 30, 2013

CDPHE Update for June 12, 2013 – Benzene detected June 8-10 at sample site CS-6

Over the weekend of June 8 benzene was detected at a concentration of 1.4 ppb in Parachute Creek surface water on June 8, June 9 and June 10 at sample site 6 (CS-6). The surface water samples for all other surface water sample locations upstream and downstream of the Parachute Creek site remain non-detect for benzene contamination. The concentration of benzene in the ground water sentinel wells surrounding the end of the benzene plume remained constant during this same time. The existing ground water aeration system continues at full operation.

Multiple times a day during daylight hours, visual surveys are conducted along Parachute Creek to look for hydrocarbon sheen on the surface – floating hydrocarbons on the surface water; similar to what oil would look like on top of water. No hydrocarbon sheen has ever been found on the surface water of Parachute Creek. Results of a site-wide ground water sampling event show that the size of the ground water plume remains stable.

Work continues on construction of the new ground water treatment system that will be used to treat the contaminated groundwater from the site that is currently in storage and the groundwater that will be extracted from the hydrocarbon recovery wells. The major components of the treatment system arrived at the site in early June 2013 and the facility is currently finishing work on the plumbing and electrical systems. Work also continues on obtaining the required water discharge and air emission permits for the system. The intent is to have the new groundwater treatment system tested and ready by the time the permits are issued so full operation can begin right-away.
[end of update]

CDPHE Parachute Creek

Follow-Up Questions from Journalists and Others; Answers from CDPHE Staff
(If the link doesn’t work go to the CDPHE webpage, on the drop down menus and click on Media)

Plume size:
The maximum estimated size of the plume is approximately 1,500 feet long, 308 feet wide and 10 feet thick. This equals an area of approximately 462,000 square feet or 10.6 acres in area; roughly 34,595,000 gallons.

(The Glenwood Springs Hot Springs Pool is 405 feet long and 100 feet wide at the widest point, and contains 1,071,000 gallons of water.)

Chemical composition of plume:
Benzene; toluene; ethylbenzene; all three xylenes (M, O and P); cyclohexane; hexane;
methylcyclohexane; isopropylbenzene; acetone; bromoform; heptanes; 1, 2 , 3-trimethylbenzene; 1, 2, 4-trimethylbenzene; 1, 3, 5-trimethylbenzene and tetrachloroethene.

Amount of hydrocarbons extracted as of May 31:
173 barrels or 7,266 gallons

Amount of contaminated water brought up with the hydrocarbons as of May 31:
Approximately 225,000 gallons

Amount of contaminated sand and soil brought up with the above, same time frame:
Approximately 1,500 cubic yards

Groundwater benzene levels in mid-May from selected monitoring wells:
“Williams has draft groundwater results that show a significant decrease in benzene concentration in groundwater down-gradient of the aeration trench. The concentration of benzene in monitoring point TMP-48 dropped from 670 ppb on April 29 to 100 ppb on May 13 to 4 ppb on May 15. The benzene concentration in monitoring point TMP-52 dropped from 360 ppb on April 29 to 170 ppb on May 12 (the last sample collection date for TMP-52). Furthermore, the benzene concentration in the down-gradient air sparge trench and vertical well points efficacy monitoring location, SPT1-4, has decreased from 760 ppb on May 12 to 140 ug/L on May 15, 2013.”

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One Comment on “Parachute Creek spill: Day 98”

  1. Carl Mc Williams Says:

    (1) The first part of this comment is to thank Peggy Tibbetts for not going away on this Parachute Creek story. (2) The second part is to compliment John Colson of the Post Independent for asking some tough questions of Dave Walker of the CDPHE weeks after the Parachute Creek story broke and also not going away on this story. (3) The third part of this story is to publicly address Governor Hickenlooper, Matt Lepore (COGCC) and Dave Walker (CDPHE) and WILLIAMS MIDSTREAM state that you have intentionally kept the truth of the spill from the public and the press and now, weeks after the story has died down does Dave Walker admit, with John Colson on a two week vacation, that the amount of contaminated groundwater wasn’t 12,000, in fact the amount is acutally 225,000 gallons. Here is a direct quote from the June 4, 2013 CDPHE press release under an astrix:

    “Revision by Dave Walker of CDPHE: “I just found out in this afternoon’s technical teleconference that I made a major error in the amount of groundwater that has been pumped as part of the Parachute Creek Pipeline Release Remediation. The actual volume of extracted groundwater currently in storage at the site is 17 frac tanks. Each tank holds approximately 17,000 gallons of groundwater for a total of approximately 225,000 gallons. I originally reported 12,000 gallons. Please forward this new information to Mr. Colson. I apologize for the error.”

    Are you getting this? Now with the story off the front pages, we are told via a low-key CDPHE press release, that the actual amount of contaminated groundwater is 20 times the original estimates, or 225,000 gallons.

    Why does anyone believe Hickenlooper, Lepore and Walker? See how they played us for fools and suckers?

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