Pressure test reveals leak at Upshur County Road and Bridge Dept. fuel station
UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas (KLTV) - An East Texas county now has an explanation as to why fuel was going missing from the fuel station used by their road and bridge department.
It was from January to February of 2022 that Upshur County auditors began to notice the numbers weren’t adding up when it came to the use of fuel at the Upshur County Road and Bridge Department fuel station.
“The numbers weren’t adding up. The fuel being used by our bridge and road department was a lot less than what we were buying,” said Upshur County Judge Todd Tefteller.
Initially thinking it may be a case of fuel theft, the county installed security cameras.
“Security cameras around our facility, we beefed up the method by which county employees gas up their vehicles,” the judge said.
However, no theft was observed, and the fuel was still disappearing. The answer came as something they didn’t expect: a pressure test revealed the problem.
“A pressure test was done at one of our gasoline pumps. We then dug that line up, which was under 10 to 12 feet of concrete, and it was corroded out and leaking. We immediately closed the valve down which the gasoline went,” Tefteller said.
An estimated 36,000 gallons of gasoline had leaked over time. Authorities were concerned about the state of ponds and ground water near the site, so the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) was notified. Core samples were taken, and remarkably there didn’t appear to be any environmental damage to the ground water.
“We’ve tested the water stratas out there, even the well we use at the location, and both turned out absolutely clean. If it wasn’t for our auditors department, we’d have never known,” said the judge.
The county methods used to clean up and repair the problem must be approved by the TCEQ. The county judge said aging pipe may be one of the factors in why the gasoline line failed.
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