Cleanup of Enfield Gas Spill Continues

An exit on Interstate 91 South in Enfield has been closed since a tanker truck flipped over on Monday.

The truck flipped over near Exit 49, causing 2,600 gallons of gasoline to spill, and officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said 1,500 tons of soil have been excavated.

Three families on Kalish Avenue, which is located directly behind the crash site, remain unable to use their water, according to North Thompsonville Fire District Chief Earl Provencher.

Those residents and others in the neighborhood rely on private wells to pump water and using those wells could cause potentially contaminated groundwater to seep towards the homes and expand the overall area of contamination, according to Jeff Chandler, a supervisor with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Emergency Response Unit.

Though Connecticut Water said the gasoline spill has not affected Enfield’s public water, DEEP is working with the Department of Public Health (DPH) and the North Central District Health Department to locate private wells, which could be affected. Crews installed new wells between nearby private wells and the crash site which are equipped with devices to monitor for potentially contaminated groundwater.

Chandler said groundwater generally travels at a relatively slow pace of “feet per day,” but he said the soil consistency at the scene of the accident is sandy and porous, which could allow contaminated groundwater to move more freely.

The soil that has been excavated will be delivered to a local facility to be incinerated to burn off remaining hydrocarbons and allow for the soil to be re-used elsewhere.

Crews will need to backfill wherever soil has been excavated once that process is complete, and the CT DOT will have to inspect their work before the road can be reopened.

Since 2003, there have been 57 crashes between the exit 49 ramps and where they intersect with Route 5, according to the UCONN Crash Data Repository. Seventeen of those crashes were in the last three years.

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