Butler County Auditor Roger Reynolds said several complaints were received this week about vehicles shutting down or running poorly after purchasing fuel at a West Chester gas station.
According to Reynolds, the drivers affected bought gas the the Sunoco located at the corner of Dimmick Road and Route 42. He said roughly three feet of water and sediment was found mixed with the fuel in the station's fuel tank.
“This is becoming a real problem here in Butler County and I can’t believe we’re alone,” Reynolds said in a news release. “When we get periods of sustained rain, our office starts hearing complaints about water in the tanks. I don’t have the authority to shut a station down for poor fuel so stations continue to sell bad gas and Ohio consumers end up paying the price for engine repairs.”
As of a 2014 report, Summit County was the only county in the state to test fuel quality.
Others are behind Reynolds hoping to see a change statewide to protect consumers.
“This could directly affect the pocketbooks of the citizens of Butler County and needs to be resolved,” said 53rd District Rep. Candice Keller (R-Middletown). “I look forward to working with Auditor Reynolds to find resolution to this problem.”
According to Reynolds, Butler County Weights and Measures inspectors regularly check to make sure the pumps are accurate in the amount of fuel dispensed, but now he's working to get fuel quality tested.
“It just makes sense to allow county auditors to permissively test for fuel octane, water and sediment levels in gasoline and grant them the power to shut down pumps not in compliance,” he said.