Gas spills in Susquehanna, local officials encourage water conservation

Elizabeth Worthington, News Editor and Assistant News Editor

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Sunoco Logistics shut down an eight-inch diameter steel pipeline in Lycoming County, Pa. on Oct. 21 after detecting a leak around 3 a.m. Thousands of gallons of gasoline reportedly spilled into a tributary of the Loyalsock Creek in Lycoming County during a period of flash flooding.

Sunoco and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) teamed up to determine whether the gas spill threatened the safety of the drinking water in communities surrounding the creek and the Susquehanna River. The creek flows into the river, but it was not confirmed whether the gasoline ever reached the river itself.

Meanwhile, following guidance from the DEP, officials from Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC) encouraged members of several potentially affected communities, including Lewisburg and Milton, Pa., to reduce their water use. They issued a voluntary conservation notice on Oct. 21 but were able to lift it as early as Oct. 22 after testing of the water source near the Milton Regional Sewer Authority found no detection of gasoline.

Executive Director of Facilities Mike Patterson reached out to PAWC shortly after the spill, and the company did not recommend that the University take any additional action. At no time was the University water supply affected by the spill.

The company warned its customers that they may notice discolored water as the system returns to normal operations, but affirmed it is not a public health issue.

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