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Tracking of Release and Remediation Progress from Large Pipeline Break East of Dallas, Texas: Protection of Lake Tawakoni Water Supply

A gasoline pipeline owned by Explorer Pipeline Company ruptured leaking methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a gasoline additive, into a creek and lake that the city of Dallas used as a water source. Because of the contamination, the city had to build a pipeline (nine feet in diameter, over two and three-quarters of a mile in length, and built in three months) to another lake, at a cost of about $9 million. The volume of the release was estimated at 1.7 million gallons of gasoline containing MTBE at 9 percent per volume. Thousands of soil, water, and groundwater samples were taken to track the MTBE plume as it migrated from the spill site, through almost 30 miles of creek and throughout a lake containing 700,000 acre-feet (228 billion gallons) of water. Four years after the spill, MTBE remains throughout the groundwater system, primarily in the drainage basin along the almost 30 miles of creek. This article focuses on the detailed tracking of all sampling data and the impact that the ongoing threat of MTBE contamination had on the water supplier.

© 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.