Tests conducted on wells after tanker truck spill

Published 12:05 am Thursday, April 9, 2015

State test results could show whether a tanker truck spill on Bringle Ferry Road affected water quality for houses near the incident.

A truck overturned last Thursday on the 11500 block of Bringle Ferry Road in rural Rowan County. The crash killed the driver and spilled a portion of the truck’s 8,000 gallons of ethanol, which is flammable, onto the roadway. As a result of the spill nearby homes were evacuated. Emergency officials continued to discourage families in two nearby residences from returning home on Wednesday.

Frank Thomason, Rowan County’s Emergency Services Director, said the only lingering danger from the spill is whether any of the ethanol from the truck leaked into a nearby water well that feeds two houses.

The spill didn’t occur on top of the well, but close enough for ethanol contamination to be a concern.

A company contracted to do cleanup noted the proximity of the spill to the water well, Thomason said. Tests conducted at the site were sent to the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources for analysis. Based on previous incidents, Thomason said the results usually take three to seven days to receive.

He said a contracted company is also doing work to remove any soil contamination resulting from the ethanol that spilled.

Reviewing the results, he said members of the public worked well with emergency personnel to avoid the area where the spill occurred.

“The take-away from this accident is that, although infrequently and rare, situations like the one on Thursday do occur,” Thomason said. “When they do, citizens should be prepared to act and follow instructions given by local officials for their safety and the safety of others.  This is exactly what occurred during this event.”

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246