Official: 'Significant' 63K-gallon brine spill reaches lake

By The Associated Press | Posted - May 6, 2015 at 10:51 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

POWERS LAKE, N.D. (AP) — A state Department of Health official says about 63,000 gallons of saltwater have leaked from a pipeline in northwest North Dakota and that some has reached a lake via a tributary.

Water Quality Director Karl Rockeman said Wednesday that it's unclear how much of the saltwater has entered Smishek Lake near the town of Powers Lake, which is about 75 miles northeast of Williston. He says the lake does not supply area drinking water.

Saltwater, or brine, is an unwanted byproduct of oil production and is considered an environmental hazard by the state. It is many times saltier than sea water and can easily kill vegetation.

Rockeman says he considers the 1,500-barrel leak "significant."

Oasis Petroleum owns and operates the pipeline. The state learned of the spill on Monday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast